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The Train, June 8, 1968

Paul Fusco, Rein Jelle Terpstra and Philippe Parreno

In the night from 5 to 6 June 1968, 50 years ago, Robert Kennedy, the younger brother of JFK, was in turn murdered just when he was gaining momentum to become the next democrat candidate to the USA presidency. On 8 June, a special train carried his body from New York to Washington. Paul Fusco, a reporter at Look magazine, was ordered by his chief editor to hop on board. He came on with “tons of film” and spent the whole afternoon, into the wee hours of the night, clicking away at his camera. He took the thousands of persons crowded along the train tracks for one last tribute from the people. The subject of Paul Fusco is famous, rightly so. But this book, which accompanies an exhibition at the Rencontres d’Arles, integrates two more recent variations: that of Philippe Parreno, who has the scene reenacted with a real train taken in his 70 mm camera – in 2009, and that of Rein Jelle Terpstra, a Dutch artist who worked on the notion of memory and absence. He carried out a truly tedious job, investigating on Fusco’s photos in order to find, fifty years later, witnesses who saw the train, so they may give their own photographs. A surprising venture through the looking glass.

The Train, June 8, 1968, by Paul Fusco, Rein Jelle Terpstra and Philippe Parreno, published by Textuel, 2018, 144 p., €49.

The Train, June 8, 1968 - Paul Fusco, Rein Jelle Terpstra and Philippe Parreno

Review published in the newsletter #519 - from 14 June 2018 to 20 June 2018

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