Friday, April 27, 2007

Entry #42: Love and the Invisible City

A friend and I gathered this past weekend. While sitting in a booth with him, the line “Bury me in your Rs and roll (wrap?) me around like a Spanish tongue” came to mind.

The work of Marlaina Read also came to mind. Every time I view it, I feel a longing for some type of make-believe past. Nostalgic fantasies, I suppose.

I read her paper on non-places. About airports, she writes:

In the airport I feel a sense of dislocation, it comes, I think, from knowing that there are hundreds of airports just like this one all around the world. I cannot be intimate with a location that is constantly repeated because it does not exist as an individual place. The structure of the airport does not require individuality in order to function. Its production of repetition and homogeneity is the basis for its efficiency worldwide because it creates an order through which people's movements can be controlled smoothly. Any intimacy I could want to feel in this space would, therefore, be swallowed in the airport's overwhelming sameness. This is a space that serves to move people on their way, it does not exist of and for itself, but instead only as a means of delivering people to their destination. The airport is a place of transition; it does not need to describe history or culture because no one is coming to the airport to be at the airport.

My memory of airports are a lot more intimate than Read’s, and I think it’s because I’ve used the airport as a sleeping (and playing) ground, and have also placed a lot of emotional value on airports. I remember staying the night at the airport in Barcelona, washing up in their facilities, and perusing the book shops for paper. I also remember being terrified in Philadelphia’s airport because I missed my flight… and there was LAX, when I first arrived to Los Angeles, in the arms of my father. And of course, I remember picking up this gentleman that sat next to me at the booths from the airport (and how nervous I was) and then later, much later- how sad. And when a certain other picked me up from the airport- how quiet and stone silent the ride was back to my apartment (that too was sad)... I remember leaning into him and how he said, "let's not talk right now." Airports have stories.

Or maybe- I am just trying to add value and meaning to airports in my need to consume.

Anyways, I absolutely love Read’s work.

Check it out at Invisible City.

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