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The second book I read this week was Species of Spaces by French writer Georges Perec.

Perec, just as Bachelard, looks into the importance of spaces and places. However whilst Bachelard discusses within a room, Perec works outwards starting with the bedroom and eventually reaching space. He describes items and ideas with a passion whilst drawing us into his works creating an experience for the reader in which we can imagine exactly what he is talking about.

Although Perec’s words are more descriptive than explanatory I have highlighted several key points that I can relate to my practice. The first is the way in which he portrays the memory of a space, this starts off in his description of the room itself and then the bed, the windows and doors and in this instance for Perec the greyness of his dormitory. My aim is for my piece to be memorable as a setting. I want it to have the effect just as Perec can explain all aspect of his room I want people to be able to recall aspects of my piece as a “fake room”.

Perec also states “An idealised scene. Space as reassurance.” I feel that this is something that could relate to my work as a idealised view of luxury and a space of reassurance behind the derelict walls of the container. For me the walls of the container represent constraints and restriction whereas the inside represents the opposite, freedom and space. However this is idealistic and the theme of restriction is seen throughout as inside represents the unattainable. Saying this the viewer could feel reassured within the space to be away from the derelict outside.

Just like Chaimowicz, Perec refers to his domestic being the private and on the other side of the door of his domestic space is the public. Chaimowicz also looks into the theme of public and private within his work discussing how he takes on board these two themes in a gallery setting. This is prominent in his work Jean Cocteau and Props and Wardrobe Room. Each of these pieces take into account two different areas of study in the spacial and domestic realm.

Finally my last point looks at Perec quotes Jean Tardieu saying “Granted there’s a wall, but whats going on behind it?” This is what I want viewers to feel when the look at the outside of my work. The eagerness to explore what is behind the four walls that they externally see from the outside. This I hope will be enhanced by people already exploring the room.

Perec’s novel was a positive read for me. Although I gained more reading Bachelard, the same idea of space and how we as humans comprehend and interact with space remains the same. The passion for the portrayal of the space is constant throughout. Perec’s novel draws the reader and instead of having a philosophical rapport such as Bachelard’s book we have a more thought provoking descriptive way of writing making it a lot easier to digest.

 

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