Saturday, May 12, 2007

the hand

a new graffitti has appeared all over the city...and i approve, because it's drawing attention to the plainest of urban "furnishings", the manhole covers of Paris. there are some cities which have invited artists to redesign manhole covers (Seattle, for example) and other places where the manhole covers are totemic (New York). but in Paris, they're often pretty dull. a lot of our urban furnishings here were designed back in the mid-1800s under the omnipotent eye of Haussmann...his era saw the installation of our blue street signs, distinctive garden benches and "Morris" poster columns. but Haussmann doesn't seem to have extended his design decrees to the bland sewer covers (even though the sewers of Paris were renovated & essentially created under his watch). but this new graffitti artist seems to be making a cry for help...reminds me of the closing moments of an Orson Welles movie, The Third Man.

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