Monday, June 6, 2011

Libraries and Cinemas

Today, we wandered around the newer neighborhoods of Paris. I found myself missing the center of the city, but wandering around after our small tour of the bibliotheque, I felt my spirit lift. I didn't honestly enjoy the bibliotechque -- the cold facade and monochromatic surroundings pushed me away from the building, emotionally. My visceral response was one of segregation and loneliness. I felt that the building was completely uninviting, perhaps even pushing me away. The only parts that I enjoyed were the wooden panels that opened and closed within the walls. It felt like the only human part of the building. I'm sure that the grey skies didn't help. The architecture was sterile -- almost like a hospital. Definitely not a piece that would inspire me to persevere any sort of educational enlightenment, let alone even open a book.

Even the areas that had natural surroundings (though I wouldn't really call them "surroundings" per se), contained the natural. A square formed around an area of trees and other greenery, but it was completely untouchable. In addition, there were pieces of greenery that were kept in a four pieces of metal, creating a separation between humanity and our most natural landscape.

It's almost like a zoo -- look, but don't touch.

I very much enjoyed the cinema, however. It looked more like an homage to the natural, not a container to separate the viewer and the viewed. 

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