Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BE IT EVER SO BAROQUE

En trompe-l'oeil: il y a l'être et le paraître
On the theatrical side of the urban revolution and in all its piney splendor is this French mobile telephone relay antenna masquerading as a conifer. In recent years, portable telephone operators with a taste for ecological paradox and an audacious sense of mise-en-scène have planted the metal and plastic supercheries here and there to dissimulate hideous rods and wires. Is it the perception or the reception that counts?
Curiously, this tree that hides the forest is in the town of Villepreux, on the plaine de Versailles--a plain which is almost on the axis of the perspective of the Grand Canal of the Château de Versailles, some 12 km away. Louis XIV, who had a special liking for elaborate baroque theatre decor and machinery, would have undoubtedly approved of the camouflage.

Vocabulary
une antenne arborisée:  an antenna dissimulated as a tree
être:  to be
paraître:  to appear
une mise en scène:  a stage setting
une supercherie:  a deception, a fake
par ici et par là:  here and there

Text & photos ©2011 P.B. Lecron

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