Friday, 11 June 2010

Shed Nests

Wobbly planks, loosely attached to one another perch amongst the steel struts and tubes of the Pompidou Centre's façade. Like giant nests for some as yet unevolved breed of enormous bird.

I first noticed them from afar, across the plaza. Strange messy blips interrupting the familiar primary coloured rectilinear facade that isn't a facade. Yet they also had an unsurprising quality, as if they were quite normal.

Things accumulate. Dust, old newspapers, leaves, people, pigeons. All trying to find a quiet corner. The city could be understood as a giant machine containing a thousand different mechanisms to counteract the incessant accumulation of stuff. Street sweepers, bin men, window cleaners, little anti-pigeon spikes on statues and ledges, signs warning of fines for bill posters, little metal studs on horizontal surfaces to dissuade homeless people from settling down, buses and metro trains to keep everyone moving.

These wooden structures are commissioned artworks, so they are not going to be cleared away until their official art work installation period is up. We know that they have been carefully planned and constructed. But how nice to play the game and imagine that they really are strange nests or cocoons for a mysterious urban creature, or sheds hastily constructed by claustrophobic Parisians living in tiny flats.

'Huts' au Centre Pompidou
10 avril - 23 août 2010

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