I loathe the subway. I will literally walk miles to avoid having to descend into the dismal depths of the vile underground. Chris Marker's Passengers, currently on view at Peter Blum in both Soho and Chelsea, features over 200 photographs of unwitting commuters on the Paris Metro. Marker, also a filmmaker who produced documentaries in the 70's, frankly and vividly captures private moments of ordinary Parisians in public venues — crowded subway cars, stations, and platforms.
The photos, primarily of women (which I find slightly creepy and stalkerish and which reinforces my unease with public transport), show the subjects asleep, annoyed, lost in thought, crammed together like sardines, typing away on their mobile phones, and just going about their daily business. The series "illustrates the various ways in which people create invisible walls and boundaries in order to cope with modern urban life," (from the press release). The 90-year-old photographer, writer, director, and multimedia artist clearly finds and exhibits the beauty in his subjects and their actions. Digitally tweaking and enhancing his images, Marker gives the scenes an added sense of tension and surrealness — further convincing me to put away the Metro Card and put on my walking shoes. Learn more at Peterblumgallery.com. Through June 4th.
Peter Blum, Soho
Peter Blum, Chelsea