Mehdi Mousavinasab

Mehdi Mousavinasab

An Entr'acte on the Sphinx. AAM (The Netherlands)

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EAP 2021 Mehdi Mousavinasab

Arcades or passages are mostly known to the public with their shop vitrines. Arcades belong to the pre-cinematic era; with their vertical illuminated vitrines combined with visitor’s movement and astonishment- as Walter Benjamin believes- they are the ancestors of cinema.

However, Maastricht Sphinx Passage does not incorporate any designed vitrine but some leftovers from other developed areas like the student hotel. Indebted to Walter-Benjamin and some recent interpretation of his ideas, “An Entr’acte on the Sphinx” is a scenic intervention on Sphinx Passage’s Vitrine that seeks ways to bring some ignored but contemplative life frames into a live performance in an urban setting for contemporary flaneurs. Sequential spatial situations whose actors are its spectators and vice versa, are linked with a storyline’s thread in three chapters: desire, progress, and boredom. These themes provided the guide to know what functional spaces/shops to bring in.

My choices were the VR video game space for the Desire part, tools shop for the progress part, and a big café/bar for the boredom part.

Using some basic architectural qualities such as transparency, reflection, and blocking the view the project tries to challenge onlookers’ eye. It provides new opportunities for exploring the space and challenging what the eyes first conceived. This achieves by creating intersections of activities and bringing them purely and bare before the viewer’s eye and using seduction as a tool to encourage them to cross the boundary of the ‘image’ and exploring the ‘space.’ Therefore, here, images are serving architecture. To create these spatial images, lots of inspirations, either autobiographical or objective research, took part.

Through combining the functional and non-functional spaces, the project suggests the Eiffel building as one of the industrial revolution’s leading progress in the region, still an excellent place to collectively observe, reflect, and be bored in.

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