just back from 4 days in Marseille and a quick hop to Crest via the TGV and local trains to see Heine Thiel's show at imprints which was great - all minimal curves and industrial surface magic. http://www.thiel-ma.de/ A note on wonderful French trains - clean, on time, good design, clear instructions and generally just so much better than ours, even the tables fold more interestingly/efficiently......I love Marseille- weirdly I've been there 3 times in a couple of months it's a sort of messed up/combination of ancient yet modern, functional but haphazard with its so South of Frenchess port and multi-cultural art scene intermixed with contemporary art spaces which actually buzz. some highlights include spaces as much as the art - The Frac - https://www.fracpaca.org/ with its great bookshop and cold minimalism had an extensive show by the painter Francoise Petrovitch who had also made 2 exquisite films alongside clay sculptural pieces all informed by a way of thinking. It was interesting to see this within all the different mediums. The Friche - http://www.lafriche.org/fr/ has the if I was to build an art centre this would be the model vibe....excellent rooftop bar/club space overlooking the city, integrated skate park bars, multiple spaces showing new work. The main show explored the body and performance and had a piece of work by the collaborative duo Leisure the evidence of their performances are often intriguing. The Musee Cantini had an all inclusive exhibition about the idea of dream. I have never in one place seen so many dubious depictions of the male interpretation of dream using the image of women - this was a thoroughly bad exhibition only saved by some wonderful work by Magritte which explored the idea without resorting to demonising, destructing or violating the female form.... The Museum of African arts is housed in a huge structure that was at one point a charity/hospital for the poor and homeless - the space is awesome as you get to walk within a courtyard at the roof level of a church http://vieille-charite-marseille.com/. This sense otherworldliness prepares you for some of the most disturbing imagery/objects displayed beautifully. I thought that we had given back all our shrunken heads! Finally - it is closed until February but worth a visit to see the magnificent building that is le musee des beaux arts - giant oxen seem to overflow from huge fountains full of wheat and grapes which tumble out of a wall of stone cherubs - it's a must see. and while there a walk around the east side past city beaches following the road with the Mediterranean to your right to restaurants where soup d'poisson with all the ritual of the rouille, croutons and gruyere is leisurely consumed - what's not to like..... oh I forgot the extraordinary churches and cathedrals!