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Remembering “Chris Marker”

Ben Lerner offers a beautiful tribute in the Paris Review to the creator of La jetée, the movie—or “photo-novel”—that serves as my touchstone in Chapter Ten of Time Travel (The Paradoxes). Lerner introduces that strange and wonderful man this way:

Chris Marker, whose name was not “Chris Marker,” was a play of masks and avatars, an artist who leapt, like one of his beloved cats, from medium to medium.  

It’s almost impossible to find a photograph of the elusive Marker. The occasion for Lerner’s essay is a years-long accumulation of photographs by Adam Bartos of Marker’s studio in Paris—portraits, as Lerner says, “from which the subject has gone missing.” It is a strange memorial: objects displaced in time, spaces both crowded and empty. Fitting for an artist whose subject was memory. Which is to say, forgetting.

See also the cornucopia of Marker images and archives at Chrismarker.org.

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