Saturday, April 12, 2014

On the Buses

An urgent errand in South London prompted one of my now-frequent epic bus journeys, but today's was a bit more pleasant than usual. For a start, I broke my journey in sunny Shoreditch to catch the last day of the Carolee Schneemann exhibit, Water Light / Water Needle, which I've been meaning to catch since it opened.

Set in one warmly lit room, the spotlit photos, which she'd painted on, were of her performances from 1966 of the titular piece, which was also recalled in a film, which I found most intriguing. Starting with a group of nude people emerging from a lake, it developed into a kind of naturism/naturalism study. Among the participants were Meredith Monk, James Tenney and Schneemann herself. Alas, I couldn't recognise Monk, but did pick out the other two. The piece absolutely screamed Hippy! But, that's no bad thing.

Then I had the great fortune to pick up one of the heritage buses running just for the day. Being a bus nerd, it was a great pleasure to hop aboard the Route 22 for just two stops to savour the atmosphere (OK, it was a bit musty, but it's 75 years old!) of one of the old RT buses, and I even got a ticket! And it was free! Very exciting. I switched to one of the newer, not so exciting buses for the rest of my journey, but felt v. satisfied indeed. Still, questions remain. When were digital clocks installed? Why is it the Year of the Bus and why only in central London? Why don't we in the outer areas get those nifty signs?