See a busy New York sidewalk slowed to a hypnotic crawl

Unaware pedestrians star in a new video installation at the Met.

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  • Video still from Street, James Nares

  • Video still from Street, James Nares

  • Video still from Street, James Nares

  • Video still from Street, James Nares

Video still from Street, James Nares


Artist James Nares shot 16 hours of ambling, street-crossing, latte-sipping New Yorkers from a moving car to piece together the poetic hour-long video piece, Street, which opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Tuesday 5. To capture the slo-mo pedestrians, Nares used a hi-def, high-speed camera, splicing together the cuts to create a continuous scrolling streetscape. For the exhibit, the Met let Nares select two galleries worth of works from its collection that comment on the piece, both directly (street photography from Walker Evans and Robert Frank) and not so directly (Sir Peter Lely's chalk drawing Studies of Hands).

Nares, who tapped Sonic Youth vet Thurston Moore for the soothing soundtrack, likens his film to a "city full of people frozen in time, caught Pompeii-like." The description seems especially apt seeing the subjects in the video go about their everyday lives, only to be trapped in that one inconsequential moment for perpetuity—as a part of the Met's permanent collection. See a two-minute preview of the mesmerizing video below.

James Nares, Street (2012)


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