ISSN : 2266-6060


La Rochelle, july 2011.

As one looks for a flat, one usually pays attention to specific details. Its price, its location in the neighborhood, its surface and the arrangement of different rooms. Once the choice is made, simultaneously starts the stream of several and parallel chains of writing made of identity papers, forms, purchase and sale contracts, accounting records, folders, bank loans, deeds, and so forth. A considerable amount of papers and inscriptions precede the possibility to get and live in an apartment. It is only after such flows of writing practices that one can enjoy her flat and begin to refurbish some particular rooms. Because everyone has her own ideas about what a “home sweet home” is. The paper ordeal then leaves room to other matters of concern: interior decorating and the assemblages of specific furnitures, colors, paints, wallpapers… All this work consists in turning a place into another one, generally looked as much more suitable and cozyer than it used to be. In other words, customized to give a personal touch. One usually seeks to erase the presence of the previous inhabitants, without thinking of the (many) traces left by workers that have built the various parts of the flat. Here is the wonderful surprise that one found when removing the previous wallpaper. One learnt that the plaster of this wall was “done by Mayeux brothers factory in June 19th, 1972, ”. And then “redone in 1982” by another craft worker. The infrastructure has its own personal marks too. Not only in the age of its materials, but also in the several layers of inscriptions that tell its own history.

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