The Chronicles of San Francisco, JR's first major digital installation in California is on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) until April 27th, 2020. On May 23rd, 2019, during the opening night, JR introduced the piece to thousands of people gathered in the museum's free to visit Roberts Family Gallery. Many of the 1,200 individuals captured by the artist in the streets of San Francisco in early 2018, met for the first time that night and shared their experience with the artist.
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On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Louvre Pyramid, JR created a collaborative piece of art on the scale of the Napoleon Court. Three years after having made the Pyramid disappear, the artist brought a new light to the famed monument by realizing a gigantic collage, thanks to the help of 400 volunteers !
Each day hundreds of volunteers came to help cut and paste the 2000 strips of paper, making it the biggest pasting ever done by the artist.
The images, like life, are ephemeral. Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own. The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers. This project is also about presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence.
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"MOMENTUM. la mécanique de l'épreuve" is JR's first major museum exhibit in Paris. It highlights the artist's monumental work, first photographs and presents several new installations. The exhibit showcases many projects, inviting visitors to lose themselves into JR's creative process, by retracing his first shots when he followed a group of graffiti artists in Paris in the early 2000s, as well as his first pastings. The show also goes back on his major series : Portrait of a Generation (an illegal pasting exhibition of portraits taken with a 28 millimeter lens) ; Women Are Heroes (that pays tribute to those who play an essential role in society but who are the primary victims of wars and conflicts) ; The Wrinkles of the City (a world scale project presented in various cities around the world where 'wrinkles', human as well as architectural, can be found) ; Unframed (in which JR reinterprets works by other photographers, giving them a new meaning by taking them out of their original context). The exhibit unveils for the first time in Europe an interactive mural about guns in America. In all, JR filmed and photographed 245 people - hunters and activists, teachers and police officers, parents and children - to create this mural for TIME's November 5, 2018, cover. Visitors are able to discover the mural in a unique way thanks to an online platform especially developed for the event.
November 7th, 2018 – February 10th, 2019
Maison Européenne de la Photographie - 5/7 Rue de Fourcy, 75004 Paris, France
Picture : Courtesy Perrotin, Photograph: Claire Dorn
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JR's first solo show in NYC features on two floors approximately 30 new works, including a series of mechanical sculptures and a video projection. With his electric trains and model container ship, JR evokes the spirit of childlike wonderment and play. Mechanical train cars move forward and backward on their rails, converging and diverging to produce the image of a face that vanishes as soon as the train cars move again. In his model cargo ship, mechanical arms load and unload containers, the building blocks of a gaze.
The gaze is an ongoing theme for JR, and Horizontal presents a new take on this as he introduces glass as a support for images of eyes. Some works isolate a single eye on a double floating pane, while works like Inside Out, Ramallah - Tel-Aviv combine the eyes of two individuals across border walls and political divides.
For this show, JR has staged an intervention on the gallery building’s historic facade, as a human figure installed on a steel armature, appears to peek into the interior of the building. This work is reminiscent of JR’s Kikito installation (2017), the image of a child peering over the Mexican border wall, similarly mounted on scaffolding.
New works by JR take up the four-color printing process of printed advertising posters. This harkens to many of JR’s in situ wheat paste installations, but re-introduces color and embraces the dotted, graphic sensibility of this particular technical process. Shown alongside these works are the four-color plates that are used for printing ‘billboards,’ affording the viewer a glimpse into JR’s process. “It is with these plates of bright colors that the images are printed. Even those who send us back to anxious situations are made up of bright, cheerful reds, yellows and blues. Each of these colors is essential for the constitution of an image,” explains JR.
JR explores new territories while remaining true to his approach of asking questions through artistic installations. The giant eye wheat-pasted on the roof of the gallery in Lower Manhattan is that of Mayra, a “Dreamer,” visible only from the sky of New York, city of dreams and possibilities. Despite the installation’s horizontal orientation, her gaze is cast upwards.
June 28 – August 17, 2018
PERROTIN 130 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
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The amazing chef Massimo Bottura opened a permanent restaurant in Paris on place de la Madeleine, called Le Refettorio Paris. The concept is to use what people think is waste and transform it into opportunities! Every night chefs will turn ordinary ingredients into extraordinary meals. This is not a charity project, it's a cultural one. JR created an art installation for the space.
Invited by The Armory Show, JR’s “So Close,” presented by Artsy and Jeffrey Deitch at the entry to Pier 94, faces us with a line of immigrants, waiting. The archival image from Ellis Island is updated with Syrians’ portraits JR took at the Zaatari refugee camp.
JR and Agnès Varda traveled the French countryside to meet local residents and produce giant photographic portraits of them. Although they are separated in age by more than half a century, Varda and JR both revel in the power of images and in documenting the lives of everyday people. Their movie, FACES PLACES was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary 2018.
JR and Mauricio Hora, local photographer and historian of Morro da Providência, the first favela of Brazil, set up Casa Amarela in 2009 after JR's project "Women are Heroes." Casa Amarela is a cultural house at the top of the oldest favela of Rio de Janeiro, that is used as a cultural center for its residents. The space is used to offer activities around Art, Education, Culture - art workshops, theater, capoeira, dance, yoga, photography, language classes... Casa Amarela is open everyday for residents, who come after school or work to express their artistic and creative selves. Any artist from all over the world can use the space to give a workshop to the youth of the community.
On October 8th, for the last day of his huge scaffolding installation on the Mexican side of the border between the United States and Mexico, JR organized a gigantic picnic on both sides of the fence. Kikito, his family and hundreds of guests came from the US and Mexico to share a meal together. People gathered around the eyes of a Dreamer, eating the same food, sharing the same water, enjoying the same music (half of the band on each side). The wall was forgotten for a few moments ...
More about the project:
The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/
TIME Magazine: http://time.com/4977283/artist-stages-picnic-on-us-mexico-border/
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