Chris Marker

Chris Marker (born in 1921) is one of French cinema's most influential artists.

  • Staring Back

    Staring Back

    Chris Marker and Bill Horrigan

    Photographs by one of French cinema's most influential and enigmatic artists.

    Any new film and any new book by French filmmaker Chris Marker is an event. Marker gave film lovers one of their most memorable experiences with La Jetée (1962)—a time-travel montage set after a nuclear war that inspired Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys (1995). His still camerawork is not as well known, but Marker has been taking photographs as long as he has been making films. Staring Back presents 200 black-and-white photographs from Marker's personal archives, taken from 1952 to 2006. Some of the photographs are related to his classic films (which include Le Jetée, Sans Soleil, ¡Cuba Si!, and The Case of the Grinning Cat), others are portraits of famous faces (Simone Signoret, Akira Kurosawa), but most are pictures of people Marker has encountered as he has traveled the world (an extra who appeared in Kurosawa's Ran, a woman seen on a street in Siberia). The central section of the book contains a series of photographs documenting political protests Marker has witnessed, including the march on the Pentagon in 1967, the events of May 1968 in Paris, and the tumultuous 2006 demonstrations protesting the French government's proposed employment policies. The photographs are accompanied by several unpublished texts by Marker, including the English language text of The Case of the Grinning Cat and Marker's annotations for some of the photos. The book—which appears in conjunction with an exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University—also includes essays by Wexner Center curator Bill Horrigan and art historian Molly Nesbit.

    • Hardcover $29.95 £25.00
  • La Jetée

    La Jetée

    ciné-roman

    Chris Marker

    Images and script (in both French and English) from one of the greatest experimental films ever made by a master of the form.

    "This book version of La Jetée is, to my mind, astonishingly beautiful. It brings a total freshness to the work and a new way to use photos to deal with dramatic events. Not a film's book, but a book in its own right; the real ciné-roman announced in the film's credits." —Chris Marker

    La Jetée, the legendary science-fiction film about time and memory after a nuclear apocalypse, was released in 1964 and is considered by many critics to be among the greatest experimental films ever made. (It provided the basis for the Terry Gilliam film 12 Monkeys.) Chris Marker, who is the undisputed master of the film essay, composed this post-apocalyptic story almost entirely of black-and-white still photographs. The story concerns an experiment in recovering and changing the past through the action of memory, yet the film can be read as a poem dominated by a single moving image, which in its context becomes one of the supreme moments in the history of film. This Zone edition reproduces the film's original images along with the script in both English and French.

    • Paperback $49.95

Contributor

  • The Cinematic

    The Cinematic

    David Campany

    Key writings by artists and theorists chart the shifting relationship between film and photography and how the rise of cinema forced photography to make a virtue of its stillness.

    The cinematic has been a springboard for the work of many influential artists, including Victor Burgin, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Stan Douglas, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon, Cindy Sherman, and Jeff Wall, among others. Much recent cinema, meanwhile, is rich with references to contemporary photography. Video art has taken a photographic turn into pensive slowness; photography now has at its disposal the budgets and scale of cinema. This addition to Whitechapel's Documents of Contemporary Art series surveys the rich history of creative interaction between the moving and the still photograph, tracing their ever-changing relationship since early modernism.

    Still photography—cinema's ghostly parent—was eclipsed by the medium of film, but also set free. The rise of cinema obliged photography to make a virtue of its own stillness. Film, on the other hand, envied the simplicity, the lightness, and the precision of photography. Russian Constructivist filmmakers considered avant-garde cinema as a sequence of graphic "shots"; their Bauhaus, Constructivist and Futurist photographer contemporaries assembled photographs into a form of cinema on the page. In response to the rise of popular cinema, Henri Cartier-Bresson exalted the "decisive moment" of the still photograph. In the 1950s, reportage photography began to explore the possibility of snatching filmic fragments. Since the 1960s, conceptual and postconceptual artists have explored the narrative enigmas of the found film still. The Cinematic assembles key writings by artists and theorists from the 1920s on—including László Moholy-Nagy, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Victor Burgin, Jeff Wall, and Catherine David—documenting the photography-film dialogue that has enriched both media.

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Hatred of Capitalism

    Hatred of Capitalism

    A Semiotext(e) Reader

    Chris Kraus and Sylvère Lotringer

    Jean Baudrillard meets Cookie Mueller in this gathering of French theory and new American fiction.

    Compiled in 2001 to commemorate the passing of an era, Hatred of Capitalism brings together highlights of Semiotext(e)'s most beloved and prescient works. Semiotext(e)'s three-decade history mirrors the history of American thought. Founded by French theorist and critic Sylvere Lotringer as a scholarly journal in 1974, Semiotext(e) quickly took on the mission of melding French theory with the American art world and punk underground. Its Foreign Agents, Native Agents, Active Agents and Double Agents imprints have brought together thinkers and writers as diverse as Gilles Deleuze, Assata Shakur, Bob Flanagan, Paul Virillio, Kate Millet, Jean Baudrillard, Michelle Tea, William S. Burroughs, Eileen Myles, Ulrike Meinhof, and Fanny Howe. In Hatred of Capitalism, editors Kraus and Lotringer bring these people together in the same volume for the first time.

    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99