Georges Perec at Place Saint-Sulpice cafè, photo by Pierre Getzler
October 1974, Saint-Sulpice Square in Paris. A man is sitting on a terrace. On his table there’s a notebook, which he is conscientiously filling in with everything happening in front of him: letters, like K, L, M, or P (for parking). Symbols, and numbers: 86 for the bus, a 6 that indicates that we are in the 6th district in Paris; fugitive slogans from advertising; a stone for the fountain; the church, buildings; trees; a piece of sky; pigeons; vehicles; human beings; dogs; bread (Baguette), a salad. Colors: red for cars, blue for bags, green for shoes, blue for taxis.
Simultaneousness of actions or micro events: postures, gestures, discussions with two, three, sometimes more people; a man with a briefcase, two men smoking pipes, a woman with a coat, people that are gathering in front of the church, a man with a bow tie, three children coming from school, a priest, a man stopping to stroke a dog, a woman waiting for a taxi, two beaming Japanese tourists, a couple, a man with tics, a policeman with a bike. Every kind of activity: to wait, to stroll, to wander, to walk, to run, to go, to look for something, to hesitate, to stay, to wait for the bus, to stand, to get up.
Elements like a fountain, a kiosk, and a group of trees are all standing at a center. The surroundings are historical buildings, with a church on one side. There is a possibility to make a plan, to make an order, a framework with elements fixed in space, grounded in space, lifeless: Saint Sulpice Square is organized as a cube.