Notes on art, fieldwork, and method
October 19, 2012
Allan Sekula, still from The Forgotten Space, by Noel Burch and Allan Sekula, 2010
1. These few notes are based on my own experience of the Transit Labour project. As someone primarily involved in art and cultural criticism, I am particularly interested in drawing possible connections between the discussions during the platforms and a set of creative practices. In particular, I am interested in looking at the project’s premises and methods as rooted in a practice of experimentation that is central to some of the most critical directions in contemporary art today.
July 19, 2010
Florence Lazar, Les Bosquets, 2010 (video still)
The breakdown of the banlieue
'Les Bosquets' is the name of a cité in Clichy-Montfermeil, a satellite town in the Parisian suburbs (banlieue), located 17 km north of Paris. The french term “cité” indicates the typical housing units built around the borders of the city after the second world war. Le Corbusier’s model of the “Cité Radieuse” (radiant city) as a modernist residential housing principle has become the symbol of the reconfiguration of the European city’s landscape in the second part of the XXth century. Le Corbusier’s cités-buildings are now mostly regarded as monuments of modernity, and sometimes, like in Marseille, they have turned into desirable middle-class housings. However, in most cases the “cité” is no longer considered a functional habitat for the working-class, but rather a disfunctional environment for a widely unemployed population. Needless to say, in the French vocabulary, the cité has become the sign of a degraded urban environment haunted by the specter a growing migrant population.