Location | Paris: Meet Field School Blogger Rosaura Ojeda

Meet Rosaura! (photo courtesy: Andres Perez)

Tell us a little bit about yourself—school, background, major, reasons for taking this trip, anything else interesting you want to share.

Rosaura (far right) with Andres and Charis at the Opera House
(photo courtesy: Kyubo Yun)
It all started with a little girl who enjoyed art class a little bit more than anything she was ever assigned to do in school who goes by the name of Rosaura Ojeda, also known as myself. I was born in Valencia, Venezuela in 1991. At the age of three I moved to Kortrijk, Belgium, which allowed me to travel all over Europe and visit a lot of different countries, even though I hardly remember anything. Three years after, I moved back to Venezuela. At the age of eighteen, I moved again with my family to Surrey, British Columbia, Canada in search of a better life. At the moment, I'm studying General Studies at Kwantlen Polytechnic University but hoping to transfer to another program to become an architect in the next few years. Even though I feel like I've moved around a lot, my way of thinking hasn't changed: art is still the highlight of my studies. My interest in art has always been somewhat spontaneous and without background, as no one in my family has ever had the same interest in art as I have. This has always made me feel not confident enough about my knowledge and left me thinking that I don't know enough about art and its history. Because of that, I've been trying to catch up on that and what better way to learn about art history than in such a historical and artistic city as Paris?

What has met or exceeded your expectations or surprised you about Paris so far?
The most contemporary architecture of Paris can be found in the section of the city known as La Defense
(photo courtesy: Kyubo Yun)
I think that what has surprised me the most of this trip is not something that we encountered in the museums or exhibitions, but on the streets. The immense monuments, such as the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe, have left me speechless while standing right next to them feeling completely small. The Eiffel Tower, in particular, made me scream when I saw it that close, as I was turning around the corner of the Architecture Museum, which blocked my view of it. It was as if I had completely forgotten the tower existed and I was seeing it for the first time. Another thing that has surprised me a lot is the classic look that the city is still able to maintain and pull-off without people thinking that the city is not taken care of enough or is not modern enough. All of the urban environment has been planned and distributed so that the most modern buildings are all located in one area of the city (La Defense), not overshadowing the older buildings of the city, which Parisians seem to take much more pride in than the modern ones.

Give us some insight into your assigned art work from the Musee d’ Orsay. After seeing the work in person, what struck you most about it and/or how did the art work’s form, content, and context shift for you when seeing it?

Berthe Morisot, Young Girl in a Ball Gown (1879)
In our visit to The Orsay, I came across my assigned painting Young Girl in a Ball Gown by Berthe Morisot on the 5th floor in the Impressionists Exhibition. The painting is average sized and positioned in the left corner of the third room from the entrance, with soft but colourful tones, and seemed to radiate for me as I impatiently looked around for it. I didn't like where she was positioned because I think it is an amazingly beautiful painting that deserves a lot more recognition than it has been given by placing it on a corner and next to a painting of flowers. On the other hand, I was surprised to notice that the colours were a lot brighter than I was expecting based on the internet images.  I also noticed that the texture was incredibly thick especially on the dress where you could see some extreme relief on the flowers, which I'm pretty sure was intentional as it only appears in that region. The brush strokes were very obvious, which made the looseness with which the Impressionists painted very visible. I was able to see Berthe Morisot's intention of going against The Salon's idealistic techniques a lot more. I was also able to see a lot of different strokes and details that I couldn't see on the pictures, such as a red stroke or line on the right side of the background, which made me wonder whether it was an accident or Morisot intentionally wanted that line there as well as other little details that could be argued or be seen as mistakes by others. 

Today’s activity was at the Palais de Tokyo and the Paris Museum of Modern Art. What were your impressions?  What will you take away of the experience?  What, if any are the memorable moments for you?

One of several Dana Wyse packages designed to
 solve culturally percieved "problems" with a simple pill
Today the group split into two groups, some of us went to Palais de Tokyo's Intense Proximities contemporary exhibition and others to the Musee d' Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris for the Robert Crumb retrospective exhibition. Intense Proximite addressed several ideas such as the crisis of universality, cohabitation and coexistence and linked them to race and ethnicity. The first impression I got from the exhibition was that everything was very well spatially placed. There was a perfect spot for everything, which made me wonder if the spaces were built around the art works or the art works were built to fit the space. The first floor was full of performance/video art that strangely and, maybe unintentionally, interacted with each other; however, they also addressed interesting subjects that in and of itself were interesting enough. Everything was bright and colourful surrounded by white walls. The underground floor had a very different feel to it: the whole floor was under construction and everything was very dark and somewhat scary. After walking around it for a bit, it made me wonder if they intentionally wanted the space to look under construction or it was something they couldn't help and decided to go with it. Similarly, the stairs hid art and history in them, filled with graffiti and some art pieces that I'm not sure if were there because they couldn't fit in the exhibition spaces or the artists intentionally wanted the pieces to be located next to the stairs. Everything seemed confusing and fascinating at the same time. I started to think that every single square inch inside the Palais de Tokyo was part of the exhibition and not just the exhibition rooms. When I reached the Bookshop, as we were about to leave, I realized my theory was right as another hidden art piece struck me by surprise. Dana Wyse's Jesus Had a Sister Productions has to be my favourite project featured in all of the exhibitions. Her art work, camouflaged as products that can be bought in the bookstore, consist of pills and other altered random objects, such as cigarettes and coins packaged in small little bags with labels that assure consumers that life could be made a lot easier by simply taking a pill and instantly solving extremely sensitive problems of contemporary society.
Rosaura and Amanda enjoying themselves at the Palais de Tokyo.