Public Space

Rayon, 1

Circles, aluminium, Ø 113 cm sealed on floors and ceilings of the Centre culturel Français, Damascus, Syria, 1986

When contemplating the complex designed by José Oubrerie for the French Cultural Center in Damascus, Syria, the richness of its structure, the intricacy of its overlap and the articulation of its volumes, I had to remember that for many people, a wall puts a stop to their investigation of space.
What would it take to open eyes to the whole building ?
I must confess that Gordon Matta-Clarks’s « art of putting holes in houses » was tempting, but the authorization to make holes in the seven levels of concrete was, as they say, a resounding (though polite) refusal. Undaunted, I pursued the idea by casting a ray through the edifice. A virtual ray materialised only when it intersects with the floors, the ceilings and the walls in the trajectory of its projection.