Chris Marker

French, 1921–2012

Marker is one of the most influential and important filmmakers, photographers, and activists to emerge in the post-war era. Marker appeared on the Paris cultural landscape as a writer and editor and also became identified for his uniquely expressive non-fiction films. Marker garnered international recognition in 1962 with the science-fiction short film La Jetée.

Marker was one of the last journalists who had the unique opportunity to travel and explore North Korea freely in 1957. The result of these travels was a group of photographs entitled The Koreans. This series reflects an uncensored record of daily life in North Korea four years after the end of the devastating war and shortly before the border was closed off.

In the later series PASSENGERS, Marker captures the many private actions and gestures that take place daily in the public sphere. Comprised of more than two hundred photographs taken between 2008 and 2010, the series, which is Marker’s first in color, are images of passengers traveling on the Paris Métro. It very clearly illustrates the various ways in which people create invisible walls and boundaries in order to cope with modern urban life.

Marker’s work continues to be exhibited widely around the world, including: The 2015 Venice Bienniale, MoMA, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Les Recontres d’Arles, and the Centre Pompidou.