Terrain Vague: the form of absence
With the term ‘Terrain Vague’, Ignasi de Sola-Morales is interested in the form of absence in the contemporary metropolis. Obsolete and unproductive spaces and buildings, undefined and without specific limits, they represent an anonymous reality outside the urban regeneration tendencies to “reincorporate” them to the productive logic of the city. Sola-Morales insists on the value of their state of ruin and lack of productivity and that as such manifest as spaces of freedom. He proposes a non-exhaustive system undergoing continious transformation, based on a series of categories of analysis similar to the “plateaus” of Gilles Deleuze. These plateaus are not stable either conceptually or numerically, as they are continually modified and new ones are added, becoming an alternate type of urbanism understood as “nomadic science”, changing, imprecise and random. This approach differs from the structuralist logic of traditional urbanism and tries not to violate the complex, dynamic, fragmentary and at the same time continous premises that characterize the contemporary metropolis.
Although this concept focuses primarily on large urban centers, it is also evident on smaller towns, even the countryside. This selection of images is from such places, changing forms and unofficial functions. The aesthetic presentation is in contrast to their derelict common perception to hint and inspire us to re-imagine new uses for them, while keeping in mind their ephemeral and transient nature.