Reserved for the Homeless
Action, 1991

In December 1991, inspired by a workshop by Krzysztof Wodiczko at the ENSBA of Paris, I got 5000 official-looking stickers printed saying “Reserved for the Homeless”.
These stickers were clandestinely put on the seats of subway stations where the homeless often go for shelter during the winter.
The RATP cleaning service, taking them for real official signage, left them in place for over a week.
The reactions of the passengers and the homeless varied from an obvious feeling of discomfort and reluctance to sit down, to appropriation:
A homeless lady wore the sticker proudly on the lapel of her coat as if it were a badge…

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#Public Space #Actions #Signage #Words #Politics #Trompe-l’œil #Beneath the Surface