ON POETRY, WRITING AND RANDOM CULTURAL MATTERS

Monday, 28 July 2014

Tattoos at Quai de Branly

Oh, what a pity! This exhibition misses the opportunity for narrative by a French mile.

There are so many stories of the whys and wherefores of tattoos, but here the overwhelming impression is one of simple voyeurism. There is no discourse to be had, what a shame.

Otherwise, if you don't know anything about the multi-cultural and historic practice of tattooing, it's worth a look.

Having spent a good part of the last three years researching tattoos, talking to people about their ink and writing a whole book of poems on the subject, there wasn't anything I hadn't seen before or didn't know about, and indeed, there were a few things missing.

Still if you want to see what Zombie boy looks like covered in make up to hide his tattoos, off you go.

Best things - mummified arm from Peru (left) and the film of the community activity that is getting a tattoo in Samoa - it takes at east five people, including someone to hold your hand.

No queues. Plenty of aficionados to stare at and not talk to as well.


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