Once upon a time, before there was rap, there were rap sessions. These informal discussions between those of like minds, initialized with the invitation “Let’s rap,” were often held sitting cross-legged and relaxed on cushy furniture. Earth-tone modular pieces were easily configured into a “rap pit.”
In the city of Heliopoli there are numerous alcoves and corners, nooks and crannies, within the buildings. The excavators call these “the empties,” empty spaces that seem designed to hold something, to be used for some purpose, but are now empty. One can see as one turns a corner a blank spot, a modular space, defined by what is around it. “There is where sculpture was,” says one. “There is where a planter stood,” says another. “There is where a mobile hung,” offers a third. But there are plenty of sculptures and planters and mobiles in Heliopoli. None exist in the empties.
On closer inspection, indentations left behind in the beige carpeting tell another story.
“Is this where furniture was?” asks one.
“Yes. No,” answers another. “This is where the people were, when they stopped to talk to each other.”