A Week in Seville, by Christopher Stone
I have just returned from a very interesting, and very hot week in Seville, (44 degrees C average temp). I have been exposed to some great art in its many forms, painting, sculpture, and Flamenco for example.
But first I want to complain, as I am oft want to do, Calle Sierpes must be one of Seville’s most renown streets, they say that “Tapas” were invented here, a small plate containing a tasty tidbit was placed on top of your glass of wine or beer to prevent the hot dry dust settling on your tipple, Tapa, literally means top, or cover, sounds good to me, so I shall continue to believe it.
Cervantes, the creator of wacky Don Quixote spent some time in jail here, and it is said that the idea of Don Q came to him during his unfortunate stay in the now long gone prison, however a marble plaque set in a wall reminds us of this infamous fact.
The last time I walked down Calle Sierpes was during the lead up to the “Expo 92″ in which I collaborated as an artist, therefore, after so long I had good reason to do so again, what a disappointment! many of the wonderful old facades have been pulled down, or are in the midst’s of renovation, (I hope), covered with tatty scaffolding, and from what I saw a complete lack of care taken to preserve these never to be repeated buildings.
It happened that I was taking my stroll at about 4 in the afternoon, (Mad dogs and Englishmen) so most of the shops had their shutters down, all, without exception were covered in very poor graffiti, no art here, just scrawls in bright colors depicting our basic instincts and egoistical name scribbles, the whole thing resembled a poor neglected, minority neighbor hood, not the elegant, historical, tourist attraction which I remembered with fondness.
Stradivarius, Claire’s, Salon’s de juegos, Footlocker, and most all of the other international high street stores abounded,leaving Calle Sierpes looking just like any other high street anywhere, but dirty, and uncared for, I personally see no need for this reproduction, all of the stores here have at least one other outlet somewhere else in Seville, why cannot this monopoly be restricted to the bland, boring, repetitious shopping malls we all love to hate?
Maybe I should return during opening hours when the shutters are up, and the street is thronged by Sevillano’s, and tourists, buskers, and beggars, and all the wonderful folk that bring Seville to life.
Talking of buskers, the quality of acts that I saw in Seville were superior to any I have been fortunate enough to see anywhere on my travels, less, of course New York, which are better than any paid for entertainment any where, but that’s another story, for another day.
Come on Seville councils, you are doing a fantastic job on the City, from the new tram cars, the splendid metro, the paved pedestrian walkways, investing millions, and making Seville a must for any visitor to Spain, and a delight for both visitors and residents alike, but please don’t forget your old faithful friend, Calle Sierpes.
Another treat for me whilst in Seville was a visit to the Café Bar Sur where Concha Jiménez Muñoz has an exhibition of her latest work. Concha is a very talented young lady, with an impressive CV.and who deserves recognition for her interesting work www.conchajiminaz.com
Café Bar Sur is a special place for lovers of Art, drop in any time and enjoy the art and the atmosphere, or if you are a music fan, Saturdays is Jazz and Blues night. I could not discover a web site for Café Sur, but google away, you’ll get lots of hits.
65 kms from Seville is the town of Morón de la Frontera who’s town hall staged this years festival of Flamenco entitled “Gazpacho Andaluz” which took place on the 31st July at 10pm.
The event was dedicated to the memory of Luis Torres Cadiz, (Joselero de Morón) who lived for many years in Morón, and is buried there, This year the festival is celebrating the centenary of his birth, (1910-2010).
The event was presented by Juan Ortega Chácon with the following artists Singer, Miguel Poveda, accompanied on the guitar by Juan Gomez Chicuelo, Dancer, Pepe Torres, accompanied by singer Moi de Morón, and Miguel Lavi, with the guitars of Eugenio y Paco Iglesias and the rhyhm of Luis Torres.
For the modest price of 12 euros, a fantastic night had by all.
All the best.