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Flaneuse de la Fontaine

This flaneuse  was a fun summer iteration that I created to playfully push the boundaries of public space. The incursions occurred at the Hochgurtel Fountain by Josef Hochgurtel, 1880 and the William Stanford Bluestone Fountain, 1870. These fountains built in colonial times, were built to evoke a sense of grandeur.

I wanted to put the female form into these spaces  and I liked the idea of questioning the function of these fountains. Why  is the fountain a space for just looking not actually touching when we endure 40 degree days of heat? Are sites of play in the city only for the young and in designated playgrounds? Where are sites of play in the city for adults? Sometimes children transgress the boundaries of the fountain but rarely adults. Why is this? What other boundaries of the city do we unconsciously adhere to? By using the fountains for play I am producing spaces of representation that oppose the official representations of space and thereby making a performative claim to the space.


I did these interventions over a short period of only three days. I introduced the character on my instagram site, explaining that Flaneuse de la Fontaine had arrived through the ancient plumbing of the Hochgurtel Fountain.


These interventions were about both the subversive act of climbing into the fountain and the documenting and sharing of the footage to create a narrative that might extend the moment. As I could only really spend a limited time in each fountain, I was interested in creating the illusion of a flaneuse playing in this space as if it were just like a day at the beach. The slow motion shots of her throwing the ball into the air was a strategy to play with this notion. I also liked the way the female form was inserted into this space that reeked of historical male priviledge, colonialism, and capitalism. 

Instagram is a useful platform for doing this. By posting on the story and my feed I created a short narrative of sorts, of the Flaneuse de la Fontaine.

Below is one and a short video of some of the footage shared on both the story and feed on my instagram site.

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