Currently reading : No Family Life
No Family Life – 11 Feb-19 March 2011 at Air De Paris
Living a life at 7500 â‚¬ per square metre or 1800 â‚¬ rent a month is possible. Paris air is on sale by the cubic metre, but this isn’t an effect of social segregation, it isn’t a form of exclusion – it’s just that the value of the ground under our feet has changed, and our lives with it.
We didn’t ask for anything, but have received expulsions and demolitions of the buildings that were still bearing our traces and our smell. We had built, in places where no one lived, spaces for being together and they were razed to the ground, priceless spaces for a few years, open to everyone who felt welcome; it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s inestimable. Because we terribly needed to live far from parquet and authentic terracotta floors, far from fireplaces with mirrors and cornices, far from panoramic views and greenery outside the window.
We remember that our first home is our body and that its inhabitants are our thoughts and our loves. We remember that life doesn’t have a price, and the places where it happens mustn’t have one either.
We remember that streets and apartment buildings are there because they are part of a world in which there is money– but there’s also blood, thoughts, childhood, solitude and illness. A world in which there is a need for money – but also a need for love, work done passionately, the urgency of being together.
Space forgets us. Space is crowded with precursory signs of a new drought. We buy a fragment of Paris, we double-lock it, we go through two doors with access codes, and a caretaker’s lodge, and we do nothing there that we couldn’t do elsewhere. We are going to fill it up with secondhand furniture painted pastel colours, we will put a coloured bead curtain in the kitchen doorway, a rug in the living-room, orchids in white pots and coloured lights around the mirror over the fireplace. We will have a bowls with fresh fruits in the kitchen, green plants in the living room, a beautiful bed-couch and bedrooms painted in clear blue. We are going to climb the wooden stairs with their red carpet before we stick our key in the lock and realise that we were wrong. We realise that this is not the present and can’t be the future. That in this fragment of Paris there is no room for anybody. We realise – as we lean on the antique railing of the window to smoke a cigarette and check our cell phone – that we are irreparably alone and that it is too late. For a life at 7500 â‚¬ per square metre is not an innocent life, it isn’t an accessible life, it isn’t an open, free, adventurous, interesting life. It is a private life.