champs elysee

The pedestrian realm is a conduit of capital. The exchange of capital is epitomized by the Champs Elysee. The Champs Elysee’s ample boulevards lined with restaurants, cinemas, and ATM machines embodies an ode to consumerism sung by the 16 million international tourists that travel to Paris each year. 

The pedestrian realm is a stage for social performance. Natural rhythms begin to emerge amongst converging groups of non-stop tourist-pedestrians; however, the boulevards are filled with obstacles. A lost tourist looks for directions. A lagging pedestrian resists the velocity of the masses. A stationary beggar obstructs the flow. The beggar, who uses unconventional methods to obtain capital, merges with the urban landscape and is shrouded in a veil of obscurity. She becomes invisible. 

The pedestrian realm is a social construct. In The Right to the City, Lefebvre argues that space is produced by the cumulative actions of society – to change the city, citizens must first change themselves. This project investigates how the behavior of unassociated individuals work in tandem to “invisibilize” the Other and invites the viewer to reflect upon how they navigate similar spatial and social conditions.