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Submitted on
January 4, 2012
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InsideTheSubway 6 by BenoitPaille InsideTheSubway 6 by BenoitPaille
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I made this set of portraits in the subway. The concept I had in mind with these photographs -and specifically in this kind of public area - was to make this kind of «non-lieux» real to the subject’s own experience.

A «non-lieux» (non-Place) is a neologism attributable to Marc Augé ever since 1991. It refers to «specific kinds of spaces, chiefly architectural and technological, designed to be passed through or consumed rather than appropriated, and retaining little or no trace of our engagement with». These ambivalent spaces, mainly established for transition and communication purposes, represent for Augé that particular condition which characterize the contemporary period he calls “supermodernity”. In fact, our time thoroughly appears to be «the product and agent of a contemporary crisis in social relations and consequently in the construction of individual identities through such relations».

Therefore, when I go into a subway and I dare to request for permission to take pictures of the people there, I’m disrupting their settled states they’ve always experienced in these kinds of «non-lieux». I’m creating an unusual event for the subjects, and thus they will remember this social interaction which will, in this way, make «real» the unreal.

By doing all this, I actually break with the implied rules induced in these kinds of public context -so to speak, to avoid staring at people or engaging into conversations with strangers, to avoid disturbing people for no reason or else – and these interruptions I arouse make me feel more alive than ever.

I see this sequence of pictures to be half as a photography project and another half as an artistic performance due to the settings where it took place and how I approached it.

Устинья Костёркина, Софья Костёркина
Text correction and revision: Claudine Paillé


Turkey‏ for a workshop: (
Germany for a workshop: (
Barcelona for an Exhibition 14 december to 14 january
Mexico, Universidad de las Américas Puebla for a lecture , 22-25 February

For more details about workshop or for having my workshop in your country, contact me :

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NinjAPixiEX3 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
She's cool!
Jis Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012
Ça se rapproche de plus en plus de la peinture d'il y a quelques siècles et son ambiance décalée. Et en toute discrétion en plus. Très bon.
iNeyraei Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2012  Student General Artist
She reminds me of my teacher. .___.
stabripemo23 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Student Photographer
This is lovely! I am most excited about the fact that in each of your stranger series photos, the subjects are singled out from their environments. You convey them as the most important person in the world to you at that time. You took the time out of your schedule to get to know someone that nobody else will take the time to even wave at, and I like that. This is probably one of the best series I've looked at.
DecimoPrimo Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Student Filmographer
More photos from this fantastic set. I am looking forward to your next big project after you're done with this one.
Henrikson Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
А чего ни говори- у нас , в восточной европе, почти азии- люди самые красивые! особенно женщины!
Youki-sama Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012
oh my god our metro! you was in Moscow and I didn't know daaaamn
awesome portraits
uani73 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderfull photo's, everyone as good as the last
Keyblademisstress Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Student General Artist
nice shot
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