Somehow Colette convinced me to go to the Pompidou, which normally she avoids and I like, for two shows.
Going through both special exhibitions on the 6th floor, I realized that in the 40 years since 1977, the curators have never learned the lessons acquired in other museums how to direct people to view an artist's progression - granted the original Wright NY Guggenheim where viewing such is obligatory is the model; but even at the Met or Prado or Orsay, they lead you through the process not force you into a mouse maze where you never know which way to go.
So, anyway, I loved the Klees, which were drole and clever, but then I went to the exhibition on the "Beats." It was a mess, as I guess the "Beats" were. But I lived through that era and the curator of this show - one Philippe-Alain Michaud wasn't born until 1961, so he was 10 when Kerouac died. And his assemblage is weird. For example, at the end of the exhibition, one finds this:
Reading the catalogue one is supposed to see the roots of the "beats" in the wake of WWII. Because Ginsberg was in college then?
But I do have a great Allen Ginsberg story. I was sitting in the lunchroom at Rockland State Hospital when a young resident from India said "I just admitted the craziest guy, he's delusional and says he's the most famous poet in America, ha ha ha." I asked "what is his name?" You know the answer.