Métier à Aubes

New York, US | 1984


The construction "Métier à Aubes" , which takes its name from an eponymous fragment from Raymond Roussel's novel 'Impressions of Africa', is an artifact derived from an ongoing project for a contemporary reinterpretation of the "Globe Theater". The project seeks to illuminate the currently obscured yet ancient and venerable relationship between language and architecture. The relationship, though generally excluded from current definitions is clearly articulated in pre-classical Greek literature as 'Diadala' and more recognizably in the language of Rome. The Latin verb 'textus' (according to classical Roman rhetoricians) indicates the (de) composition of both a literary and an architectural work, and is , of course, the root of the word textile; thus leading back to Roussel's pregnant 'jeu de mot' whose twofold meanings fortuitously encompass the antique definitions: "Métier [work/loom] à Aubes [dawns/paddle wheel]. I thought of a profession which required getting up at the crack of dawn (Roussel)" The construction may be divided into two, 'matually informing', mechanisms suspended in a framework; the upper a language loom consisting of a communicating series of 'perscribed' metal plates and, the lower, an adjustable reclining chaise (figura) from which the plates can be 'read'. The resistance can be explained ethically or historically but whose possibility of functioning effectively is scarcely attainable, or attainable only after a "willing suspension of disbelief".

Project Info

Completed 1984  |  Type: Chaise Lounge  |  Structure: Steel


Project Credits


Jesse Reiser + Nanako Umemoto



Jan Larson, William Powell, Jesse Reiser

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