Friday, July 27, 2007

2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle

I am appropriating a jean Luc Godard title which says" 2 or 3 things that I know about her "to talk about my relationship to Chicago. I just came back from a job with Jeff K and the city lingers.As it turns out, my paternal grandmother was born in Chicago, and after a golden childhood there, she ended up after some fortune turn- about of her father, in Geneva, Switzerland, with mother and siblings, minus father and brother who both remained in the States. There, she went to art school ( a beautiful encrusted box is what's left of that time) and met my grandfather who happened to be the son of the school director, himself a painter.They married, and during her pregnancy with my father,caught the spanish flu and died 2 weeks after giving birth, at 24 years old. I was named after her, and thought that I, too would not make it after that tender age. But, a thread was woven between me and America. As a very young child, I was told in later years by a friend's mother, I would say that I was going to live in America. As a naive and ignorant teen, I would haunt the American Center in Paris ( a cultural and propaganda center....) which stood , of all places , in the Saint Germain neighborhood, and watch, mesmerized, big combines raping the never ending plains of the Mid West.So, being in Chicago, my heart was feeling the warm air of her summers long past,my feet were touching the pavements long walked. I had, I thought, a feeble but enduring connection with Chicago.

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