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Hidden Camera Photos of Paris Métro Passengers

The legendary French filmmaker and photographer, Chris Marker, turns 90 this year, but he shows no signs of slowing down. The writer and director of such influential films as 1962’s La Jetée, which Terry Gilliam remade as 12 Monkeys, and 1982’s Sans Soleil, a meditative film about travel and memory, Marker took to the trains of the Paris Métro for two years to shoot PASSENGERS, a marvelous series of more than 200 color photographs of people in transit currently on view at New York’s Peter Blum Gallery. Using a concealed camera, Marker captured intimate moments between couples and family members, as well as a diverse mix of individuals in periods of reverie in a public place — occasionally digitally altering the images to make comparisons between the random passengers and classic subjects from the history of art. When was the last time you saw Mona Lisa on the subway? As Marker reveals, she may be sitting across from you. It’s all a matter of recognizing the pose.


Chris Marker, PASSENGERS, Untitled # 95, 2008-2010. Color photograph mounted on white Sintra, 13 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (33.7 x 46 cm), Printed 2011, Edition of 3. Courtesy the artist and Peter Blum Gallery, New York