Le passage jardinier
The gardening project by artist Didier Courbot is part of a RHI (Resorption of Insalubrious Housing) operation conducted by SOLEAM* in the Saint-Mauront district. The operation involves the construction of around 100 new social housing units. It also includes the requalification of roads and networks and the development of public spaces. SOLEAM, in consultation with the GIP urban policy as part of the urban social cohesion contract**, supports initiatives by residents who wish to participate in the transformation of the district, in particular through artistic activities.
Since spring 2012, the demolition of buildings has left a vacant space at the corner of rue Guichard and rue Felix Pyat. While waiting for the construction of the real estate program and to give this temporary wasteland a new use, the artist Didier Courbot imagined Le passage jardinier. This project consists of the progressive creation of shared gardens. The land is made passable by the construction of a wooden footbridge, partially covered with a pergola and covered in its entire length with a seat. This footbridge gives access to the first shared plots, managed in partnership with Maison pour tous Saint-Mauront and the Félix Pyat elementary school. The complex becomes a transitional zone, a place where it is good to live together, a space to imagine new uses in a district in full transformation.
* A local public company, SOLEAM is the operator of RHI Saint-Mauront and has held the development concession since the merger on 28 November 2013 with Marseille Aménagement.
** GIP city policy / urban social cohesion contract. Created in 1998 by the City of Marseille and the State, the public interest group for the management of urban policy constitutes the legal and financial structure for the animation and management of the successive programmes set up in Marseille as part of the city policy (city contract 2000-2006, then urban social cohesion contract).
Didier Courbot was born in 1967 in Hazebrouck, Flanders. He lives and works in Paris. He is interested in the notion of public and shared space, beyond its physical dimension. He is best known for his Needs: photographed actions of interventions in various public places. He also designs spaces through commissions and creates installations, questioning the relationship between work and public space. Discreet or in more ostensible gestures, his interventions slip into the gaps left vacant, and produce forms adapted to the specificities of the places they pass through. A discreet, even invisible imprint, which nevertheless manages to change the perception we have of these places.