ISSN : 2266-6060

Thresholds

Toulouse, november 2019.

A kilometre marker, I am placed in the traffic lane so that passersby can see me clearly. As a signage component, I play a dual role: I identify the road on which I am placed as a milestone, and I indicate the surrounding localities. Here the national road no.112, going from Adge to Toulouse via Béziers. Relay, landmark, threshold of numerous journeys, I also appear as a crossing point on the multiple versions of the road network map that have followed one another over the centuries. Just like me, flanked by a corrective square, this series of maps bears the traces of geopolitical changes. Before indicating this national road, I was placed a little further until 1856, at the crossroads of the imperial roads no.88 and no.112 in the direction of Lyon and Agde.
Stele bearing ancestral inscriptions, I’m still on the side of the road, but a little further back, in a small garden at the exit of the metro station. The indications that I tirelessly display remain legible and significant, without being activated very often. As I turn my back on the motorists, hurried passersby do not detect my presence in the shade of these trees. As for the flaneurs taking advantage of the benches in the garden, they don’t pay the slightest attention to me even when they deign to stick their heads out of their screens. Invisible to the innumerable passages, more indifferent than disdainful, I have seen many others… and I still enjoy the privileged point of view that I have on the world’s march…