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Space, chance, time: walking backwards through the hours on the left and right banks of Paris

[journal article]

Fenton, Jill

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Abstract In connection with cultural geography’s current interest in themes of exploring and intervening in the city, this paper narrates an intervention in Paris authored by Jean-Pierre Le Goff. Le Goff is renowned in France for his interventions in both town and country that play with the dictates of chance. The walk takes participants to 12 locations on an imaginary geographical clock that Le Goff has plotted on a map of Paris. Participants are invited to walk anticlockwise the hours on the clock and at the site of each hour to place as many cards as the hour, drawn at random from a deck of tarot. In the progress of the walk the participants find themselves caught up in disclosing a cryptogram that links with individual mythologies while revealing a city within a city. The subterranean temporalities of Le Goff’s intervention connect with ideas of play and re-enchanting the city; they unearth incidences of objective chance and the uncanny as well as the city’s hidden signs. They enable countercultural practices to evolve that suggest the lived moment is significant to thinking about alternative narratives in studies of urban geography.
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 412-428
Journal Cultural Geographies, 12 (2005) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)