Gare du Nord I
Pen, pencil and acrylic paint on canvas
Dimensions: 170 x 190 cm
Photographer Jens Ziehe
The Gare du Nord is a major transit hub that is used by hundreds of thousands of people each day. It connects passengers between Paris and its northern suburbs and much of northern Europe. A complicated, chaotic, and constantly moving place, this station is in many ways emblematic of France more generally. Over a period of months I observed and documented the minutiae of this train station and the patterns and behaviours of those who use it. The resulting six large map-drawing hybrids show a combination of chaos and boredom, surveillance and subversion, and open a conversation about the difficulties of France’s ongoing negotiations between nationalism, identity politics, and race relations.
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