Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Silent Witnesses

The facts are hard to come by but most estimates suggest that France has no more than a fifth of the surveillance cameras deployed on British streets. As if to compensate, French streets have a very high population of carved and modelled figures maintaining observation over their flesh and blood compatriots. The city of Marseille is well endowed in this respect and a small selection follows here. It begins at the railway station where a selection of savage beasts and wrestling figures patrol the concourse. In the city centre they can be seen flanking the entrances to department stores and at busy traffic intersections where their frenzied activities, frozen in stone, form a strange counterpart to the furious commotion that circulates around them. As you pass through a doorway, a blank stare is directed downwards from the tympanum. And at many street corners diminutive Madonnas occupy tiny recesses at second storey level as a reminder of the existence of higher powers. 

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