The Great Empty: A Touching Photo Exhibition of Life in Quarantine by NY Times

"The Great Empty - Photographs by The New York Times" is an exhibition that truly delivers the poignancy of our current times. Inspired by the famous photo exhibition during the 1950s of "The Family of A Man" in respect of the calamities of the World War, this new exhibition undertaken by photographers at NY Times is mesmerizing and conveys bonds of humanity that surpass human-made boundaries of nations and politics.

The exhibition brings us photos from across the world of bustling, tourist-centered attractions that have never stopped humming, now abandoned, isolated in the wake of the global pandemic that has seized us all. Michael Kimmelman, who offers an introduction to this exhibition, remarks, "Their present emptiness, a public health necessity, can conjure up dystopia, not progress, but, promisingly, it also suggests that, by heeding the experts and staying apart, we have not yet lost the capacity to come together for the common good. Covid-19 doesn’t vote along party lines, after all. These images are haunted and haunting, like stills from movies about plagues and the apocalypse, but in some ways they are hopeful."

"They also remind us that beauty requires human interaction."

"I don’t mean that buildings and fairgrounds and railway stations and temples can’t look eerily beautiful empty. Some of these sites, like many of these photographs, are works of art. I mean that empty buildings, squares and beaches are what art history textbooks, boutique hotel advertisements and glossy shelter and travel magazines tend to traffic in. Their emptiness trumpets an existence mostly divorced from human habitation and the messy thrum of daily life. They imagine an experience more akin to the wonder of bygone explorers coming upon the remains of a lost civilization."

"They evoke the romance of ruins."

"Beauty entails something else. It is something we bestow."

"It will be the moment we return."

The photos in the exhibition are:

1. London, United Kingdom: Andrew Testa for The New York Times

This is what rush hour looks like now in a major metropolis.
This is what rush hour looks like now in a major metropolis.

2. Munich, Germany: Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times

A subway without commuters.
A subway without commuters.

3. Moscow, Russia: Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

The seats were empty at rehearsal, and remained so for the online performance.
The seats were empty at rehearsal, and remained so for the online performance.

4. Beijing, China: Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times

A lone diner in a neighborhood known for its nightlife.
A lone diner in a neighborhood known for its nightlife.

5. Caracas, Venezuela: Adriana Loureiro Fernandez for The New York Times

Day 2 of Venezuela’s nationwide quarantine.
Day 2 of Venezuela’s nationwide quarantine.

6. Los Angeles, United States of America: Philip Cheung for The New York Times

An unchanging ocean, a barely recognizable beach in Santa Monica.
An unchanging ocean, a barely recognizable beach in Santa Monica.

7. Barcelona, Spain: Maria Contreras Coll for The New York Times

Pigeons had Las Ramblas to themselves.
Pigeons had Las Ramblas to themselves.

8. New Jersey, United States of America: Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

The Americana Diner in West Orange was open — but only for takeout.
The Americana Diner in West Orange was open — but only for takeout.

9. Srinagar, India: Atul Loke for The New York Times

In a tourist season without tourists, boats without passengers.
In a tourist season without tourists, boats without passengers.

10. Bangkok, Thailand: Amanda Mustard for The New York Times

Streets of fear in a city popular with Chinese visitors from Wuhan.
Streets of fear in a city popular with Chinese visitors from Wuhan.

11. Berlin, Germany: Emile Ducke for The New York Times

Keep your distance: That is the plea from the German government.
Keep your distance: That is the plea from the German government.

12. New Delhi, India: Saumya Khandelwal for The New York Times

A day at the fair in Red Fort.
A day at the fair in Red Fort.

13. Rome, Italy: Alessandro Penso for The New York Times

The view from the Spanish Steps.
The view from the Spanish Steps.

14. Washington, United States of America: Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Even cherry blossom season did not draw visitors to the Lincoln Memorial.
Even cherry blossom season did not draw visitors to the Lincoln Memorial.

15. Tokyo, Japan: Noriko Hayashi for The New York Times

When the world stops traveling.
When the world stops traveling.

16. Seoul, South Korea: Woohae Cho for The New York Times

South Korea’s outbreak was, for weeks, the worst outside China.
South Korea’s outbreak was, for weeks, the worst outside China.

17. Seattle, United States of America: Grant Hindsley for The New York Times

https://static01.nyt.com/newsgraphics/2020/03/18/empty-spaces/assets/images/emptyspaces-21-1440_x2.jpg
A hot dog was as unlikely as a visit to the Space Needle.

18. Milan, Italy: Alessandro Grassani for The New York Times

The Navigli, where the Milanese often gather at the end of the day.
The Navigli, where the Milanese often gather at the end of the day.

19. San Francisco, United States of America: Rozette Rago for The New York Times

California residents have been ordered to stay home.
California residents have been ordered to stay home.

20. Rawalpindi, Pakistan: Saiyna Bashir for The New York Times

No standees, and few seat takers.
No standees, and few seat takers.

21. New York, United States of America: Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

A major transit hub, the Oculus, in a city no longer on the move.
A major transit hub, the Oculus, in a city no longer on the move.

22. Yangon, Myanmar: Minzayar Oo for The New York Times

Nothing to see here: Tourists used to come for the panoramic view.
Nothing to see here: Tourists used to come for the panoramic view.

23. São Paulo, Brazil: Victor Moriyama for The New York Times

The last picture show, or one of them, before theaters were shut.
The last picture show, or one of them, before theaters were shut.

24. Siem Reap, Cambodia: Adam Dean for The New York Times

No visits to Angkor Wat, and no Pub Street toasts afterward.
No visits to Angkor Wat, and no Pub Street toasts afterward.

25. Sydney, Australia: Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

Sunset is normally prime photo-taking time at the Opera House.
Sunset is normally prime photo-taking time at the Opera House.

26. Hong Kong, China: Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

A popular viewing point, but few takers.
A popular viewing point, but few takers.

27. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Ulet Ifansasti for The New York Times

Only the buildings needed guarding at a temple complex.
Only the buildings needed guarding at a temple complex.

28. Paris, France: The view is still there, the viewers far less so.

The view is still there, the viewers far less so.
The view is still there, the viewers far less so.

29. Bogotá, Colombia: Federico Rios for The New York Times

An empty cloverleaf tells the story of a city on lockdown.
An empty cloverleaf tells the story of a city on lockdown.

30. Tehran, Iran: Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

Happy New Year: The Persian New Year comes to Iran.
Happy New Year: The Persian New Year comes to Iran.

This post was published by anjali.

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