Annabelle d'Huart

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2004 – Gare d’Orsay

November 3rd to 27th 2004.

Photographs of the deserted construction site of the Orsay train station before it became the Musée d’Orsay.

Location: Forêt Verte Gallery, Paris.


At sunset, in June of 1982, I was walking past the construction site of the gare d’Orsay when I saw a gap in the boarding. Long disused, the train station was being hollowed out before work could begin on what would become the future Musée d’Orsay. On a whim, I sneaked in. 

A few feet from the traffic jam outside, birds flew under a huge nave in swift and unbroken trajectories, having regained possession of the space and silence. In this particular light, every single particle of dust was visible, and under the rays of the setting sun, the glass of the windows shone like crystal. As I walked along, I noticed remnants of walls and tattered sheets of wallpaper from the old hotel. Reminiscent of Vuillard’s paintings, they now hung from the metallic structure, punctuated by arches similar to those of the Eiffel tower. Puddles of black lacquer reflected and doubled this architecture of metal and glass and the overhanging rubble. To my eye, they glittered like a palace or rather a studio worthy of Eisenstein himself.