Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
21 February Saturday
It was perhaps a mistake to detour to the newly opened Fondation Louis Vuitton when we had had a walk already planned. It was perhaps a mistake because it was Saturday. It was perhaps a mistake because it started to rain. It was perhaps a mistake not to have believed the weather forecast. The rain made the walking plan a bad idea. The rain made waiting in line for forty-five mintues a bad idea too. We grumbled at ourselves for being in the long line but once we were in it, we knew we had to stay. We knew that if we did not go all the way inside we would probably never return. The rain went from a light rain to a heavy rain to a torrential downpour.
A beautiful black woman with hundreds of braids came along the line and offered bright green ponchos in bright green envelopes to people who had no rain coats or umbrellas. She made several trips along the queue with armloads of the poncho envelopes. Everyone who received one was excited to have been given something. After a while the woman returned. This time she had an armload of blue poncho in blue envelopes. She made two or three trips passing them to people. Then she returned with huge white umbrellas. These too were distributed along the line. The line got longer and longer. The rain fell harder and harder. The longer we waited the more we did not want to be there but the longer we waited, it seemed stupid to give up the time already used in the line to simply walk away. Each time the woman came out with more ponchos or more umbrellas she was wetter and wetter. Her braids were dripping. She wore no poncho and she had no hat nor an umbrella to protect herself.
As we got closer to the entrance and even after we bought our tickets, people began to take off their ponchos and there were lots of discussions in many languages. Everyone wondered if the ponchos were a gift from the Fondation Louis Vuitton which they could take away with them. Or would they have to give these back on entry.
The umbrellas were collected at the door and the ponchos were too. We had to enter one at a time through a revolving door and then go through airport security checks. The entry hall of the museum was full of wet people and shaking dripping umbrellas.
I followed a woman who was pushing a sweeper device around for a while in one of the upstairs galleries. She was on a never ending cleaning mission.
There is not much I want to say about the building or the collection. I am glad I visited now while the building is new. There is no reason to ever return. EVH