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40 46 A photograph by Jacques Lartigue of Issy-les-Moulineaux, December 1911. Roland Garros photographed by Lartigue as he flew over the aerodrome at Issy-les-Moulineaux in 1911, from La Vie au grand air. The young architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, then working in Paris at the offices of the Perret brothers, witnessed the typical response as his employer, Auguste Perret, burst into the atelier, a newspaper in his fist, and shouted: ‘Blériot has crossed the channel! Wars are finished: no more wars are possible!

55 The tower and terminal at Orly, c. 1966. Apron and terminal at Orly, c. 1966. lyrics by Pierre Delanoë tell of a young man’s sense of entrapment in the consumer culture of the Fourth Republic. Living in a nice apartment that his father, if all goes according to payment plan, will own outright in 20 years, the young man is surrounded and stultified by all the mod cons. On Sundays, his mother does the housework, his father watches the sport on television; he, however, travels out to Orly to watch the jets taking off for new worlds, and spends his time there dreaming of leaving on board one of them.

Chris Marker chose to begin La Jetée, the remarkable short film he made in 1962, at the airport on a Sunday afternoon, shortly after the completion of the new terminal. ’53 The reason why he will never forget is the nub of the film, even though, at the airport, time seems to be ‘frozen’, to have acquired a near-solid presence, in the form of the jetty itself. J. G. Ballard describes Marker’s opening image in the following terms: ‘The long pier reaches out across the concrete no-man’s-land, the departure point for other worlds.

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