Children don’t read ‘genres’; they read stories. Below a certain age, they don’t distinguish between ‘true’ and ‘not true,’ because they see no reason that a white rabbit shouldn’t possess a pocket watch, that whales shouldn’t talk, or that sentient beings shouldn’t live on other planets and travel in spaceships. Science-fiction tropes aren’t read as ‘science fiction’; they’re read as fiction. And fiction is read as reality. And sometimes reality lives under the bed and has very large teeth, and it’s no use pretending otherwise.
In a new project called “OMG, Who Stole My Ads?” French street artist Etienne Lavie makes it his mission to transform the ad space in Paris into an outdoor art gallery. He has been travelling around the city, snatching up posters and billboards, and replacing them with fine specimens of French art from an earlier era. If our senses have over-developed to the point where we need to be visually stimulated at all times outdoors, just to keep up continuity, then we might as well at least occasionally glimpse something that moves us—something we might elect to look at voluntarily. Lavie’s project gives that gift to a lucky subset of Parisian commuters.