Silent World: An Apocalyptic Photo Series

Silent World: An Apocalyptic Photo Series

Photography by: Lucie & Simon, Paris

Silent World is an engrossing short film comprised of an apocalyptic series of photographs by Paris-based filmmakers/photographers Lucie & Simon, set to the music of Philip Glass and Daft Punk. When you think of ghost towns, your mind doesn’t typically gravitate to New York City, Paris or Beijing. Yet that’s what these teeming cities have become in the hands of Lucie & Simon.

Lucie & Simon have used a digital scalpel and a special filter to remove humans from the city landscapes. They have left just enough evidence of our species’ presence, a lone woman in a blood-red coat in Madison Square Garden or a hoisted flag in Tiananmen Square, to make the mysterious, mass disappearances as uncannily disturbing as possible.

Many city dwellers no doubt have dreamed of a magically emptied and peaceful metropolis. But Silent World suggests that life would not be so peaceful in a completely silent city. It’s unnatural and threatening; the uneasy feeling of being the last person on earth could build and build until one goes mad.

Silent World: An Apocalyptic Photo Series

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The Lonely Ghosts of New York City’s Past

The Lonely Ghosts of New York City’s Past

Photography by: Jem Cohen, NYC

The ghostly Polaroids that filmmaker Jem Cohen has taken of New York City over the past 30 years remind him of “a sleepwalker’s view of the city.” The impressionistic images, filled with vaporous landscapes, acid colors, deadpan close-ups and long, lonesome vistas, could be said to capture those parts of the city its residents have forgotten, or even what the city has forgotten about itself.

The same can be observed about Cohen’s short films, NYC Weights and Measures (2006) and Lost Book Found (1996), which capture the lonely solitude that exists beneath the often deafening noise and frantic bustle of the city’s streets.

Read more about Jem Cohen’s work in The New York Times here.

Jem Cohen: Lost Book Found (1996)

Jem Cohen: NYC Weights and Measures (2006)

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