Rent: prostitution and the Irish Apartment Block

Author: Gary A. Boyd

  • Rent: prostitution and the Irish Apartment Block


    Rent: prostitution and the Irish Apartment Block



In 1974, pursuing his interest into the infra-ordinary – ‘the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the back-ground noise, the habitual’ – Georges Perec wrote about an idea for a novel: ‘I imagine a Parisian apartment building whose façade has been removed ... so that all the rooms in the front, from the ground floor up to the attics, are instantly and simultaneously visible’. Borrowing methods from Perec to move somewhere between conjecture, analysis and documentation, this paper interrogates the late twentieth- century speculative apartment block and its position within the city of Dublin in particular. Apartment comes from the Italian appartare meaning ‘to separate’. The space of the boundary between activities is reduced to a series of intimately thin lines: the depth of a floor, a party wall, a window, the convex peep-hole in a door, or the façade that Perec seeks to render invisible. The apartness of the apartment is accelerated when aligned with short-term tenancies: the paper will pay particular attention to the impact this real estate separation and location has had on practices of prostitution that are now supported by online ‘retailing’.

How to Cite:

Boyd, G. A., (2014) “Rent: prostitution and the Irish Apartment Block”, field 6(1), 7–18.

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Published on
01 Nov 2014
Peer Reviewed