silent world imagines cities at the end of the world silent world imagines cities at the end of the world
apr 04, 2012

silent world imagines cities at the end of the world

the ‘silent world’ photographic series by lucie & simon uses neutral density filters and long exposure photography to eliminate people and cars from busy cities and streets ‘tian’anmen square’ (2010) C-print, 200x256cm

in their series ‘silent world‘, paris-based, franco-german artistic duo lucie & simon use tricks of the photographic trade to render the world’s busiest cities free of cars and even people.

neutral density filters allow photographers to limit light entry without closing the aperture or increasing the shutter speed. the higher the F-stop reduction, the greater the effect, allowing for super-long exposures which make moving objects like people and cars essentially invisible, while only immobile structures remain. extremely high level filters are used by NASA to analyze star patterns.

in the ‘silent world’ images, lucie & simon leave just one or two people visible in the photograph: ‘small intrusions [whose] disconcerting presence disrupts the majestic calm of the streets and squares.‘

‘xizhimen ring road’, beijing, china (2012) 0’59 video, plasma screen, 80x110x30cm

times square (2010) C-print, 250x320cm

columbus circle (2009) C-print, 250x320cm

queensboro bridge (2009) C-print, 200x256cm

madison square (2009) C-print, 200x256cm

‘sixth avenue’ (2009) C-print, 200x256cm

‘beijing ring roads’ (2010) C-print, 200x256cm

‘fugximen’ (2010) C-print, 200x256cm

‘place montparnasse’ (2008) C-print, 200x256cm

‘cour carrĂ©e du louvre’ (2010) C-print, 200x256cm

‘place de la concorde’ (2008) C-print, 200x256cm

‘silent worlds’ (2012) opening photograph: ‘place de l’opera’ (2009), C-print, 250x320cm 7 minutes film, variable size projections music by philip glass and daft punk

via dvice

  • Creepy, but poignant.

    spatula6554 says:
  • just some morning pictures, somewhere even with people..
    It would be cooler if they had introduced some decay details

    moosbeer says:
  • i don’t see how these pictures have moving flags in them if it’s supposed to get rid of all moving objects

    jo says:
  • This is the most beautiful photograhy I have seen. Wonderful work, and wonderful Idea.

    Dave says:
  • @Moosbeer, I can’t speak for the rest of the cities (re: the Louvre square, for example, I bet you’re right) but I have lived in New York since I was born and I have never seen Times Square or Columbus Circle free of people and cars like that, even at 4AM, 5AM. Also at least the Beijing highway I’m sure is the same.

    Kara says:
  • Vanilla Sky

    dbkii says:
  • Morning pictures? spatula6554 Not sure where your\’e from, but these are some of the busiest places in the world & virtually impossible to see them without people, cars, etc. no matter the time of day. As for decay details, I love that this photographer didn\’t cheapen it with tricks like that.

    fork6554 says:

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