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16 czerwca 2016
wszystkie artykuły z działu >> INSTALLATION

Piramida Luwru znika za gigantycznymi wydrukami JR

Niezwykłe złudzenie optyczne

JR to najbardziej na świecie znany artysta Street Art wykorzystujący monumentalne kolaże fotograficzne do nadawania znanym obiektom i przestrzeniom publicznym nowego wymiaru. Swoje inspirujące kolaże fotograficznych i i projekty wystawia w przestrzeni publicznej na całym świecie. Swoimi pracami próbuje udowodnić swoją mantrę, że "ulica jest największą galerią sztuki na świecie."


Czy to na Bliskim Wschodzie, w favelach Rio, slumsach Kenii, Nowym Jorku, Le Havre czy Szanghaju, prace JR nie pozostawiają nikogo obojętnym, bo kierują naszą uwagę na nas samych. Jego spektakularny sposób interwencji stawia pytania dotyczące twórczości artystycznej, roli obrazów w dobie globalizacji i ich powszechnego stosowania, od kameralnych wnętrz do masowej dystrybucji.

Najnowsza realizacja JR próbuje ukryć szklaną piramidę paryskiego Luwru wykorzystując ogromne złudzenie optyczne. Piramida - Ikona architektoniczna Paryża, zaprojektowana przez I. M. Pei’a w roku 1989 - została owinięta tysiącami arkuszy papieru, które po złożeniu razem, odtwarzały zabytkowy pałac Luwru stojący tuż za nią. Patrząc z pewnego punktu widzenia, szklana piramida zasadniczo znika zlewając się z fasadą. Instalacja JR można było oglądać od 25 maja do 27 czerwca.

Louvre 5 maja do 27 czerwca 2016 / Photo JR-Artist

Louvre 5 maja do 27 czerwca 2016 / Photo JR-Artist

Louvre 5 maja do 27 czerwca 2016 / Photo JR-Artist

Louvre 5 maja do 27 czerwca 2016 / Photo JR-Artist

Louvre 5 maja do 27 czerwca 2016 / Photo JR-Artist

Louvre 5 maja do 27 czerwca 2016 / Photo JR-Artist

Louvre 5 maja do 27 czerwca 2016 / Photo JR-Artist

Louvre 5 maja do 27 czerwca 2016 / Photo JR-Artist

Louvre / Photo East News

Louvre 5 maja do 27 czerwca 2016 / Photo JR-Artist

Żródło: JR-Artist

Photos: JR-Artist



Interview with JR
Interview with Hugo Vitrani, April 2016

“Art allows us to call into question our visual and intellectual points of view.”

The Louvre’s Pyramid seems to disappear beneath your collage, and we can’t help but be reminded of the heated debate led by the detractors of I.M. Pei’s architectural project, which was unveiled in March of 1989 as part of François Mitterand’s “Grand Louvre” program. What’s the point of making the Pyramid disappear?

Making the Pyramid disappear is a way for me to distance myself from my subject. The feud between traditional and modern tastes in art and architecture is nothing new. The Pyramid, Buren’s columns at the Palais-Royal, and the Pompidou Center—all of these caused controversy. My work is about transmitting history to better understand the present, and find echoes with our own times. What happened in the past is part of a broader context that can still have relevance for today. By erasing the Louvre Pyramid, I am highlighting the way Pei made the Louvre relevant for his time, while bringing the Louvre back to its original state. The Pyramid is one of the most photographed French monuments. I am re-directing its energy, because people are going to have to move around it. They are going to look for the best angle to get the full impact of the anamorphic image, and really make the Pyramid disappear.

Your work started out illegally, in the streets. You displayed works at the Casa França-Brasil in Rio de Janeiro in 2009, and now you seem to be turning to historic monuments: the Pantheon, the National Assembly and now the Louvre Pyramid. How do your projects fit into these iconic places, often charged with history and controversy?

The street is an open-air museum. As I grew in my work, I created ambitious projects for some monuments, projects that could not be realized overnight with two strokes of a paintbrush. I use buildings when my project’s goal works with the context, like I did in Rio by mounting portraits of the inhabitants of a favela, unknown to city-dwellers, on the Casa França-Brasil. It was also interesting to put the portraits of thousands of anonymous people from around the world in the Pantheon, which is a shrine to France’s great men, in my “Inside Out” project. It was a way to pay homage to all those who had the will and the courage to change the world, and to declare that History with a capital H is made by the little people. Just like my video projection “The Standing March,” which I made with Darren Aronofsky and projected onto the National Assembly, was meaningful in that it revealed a crowd of people who were banding together in solidarity and calling on politicians to take heed while the COP21 was going on last December. This was at a time when all demonstrations and gatherings were forbidden because of the terrorist attacks of November 13. My approach to official monuments is guided by the meaning that the place can give to my different projects. With the Louvre Pyramid, the collage is part of my “Unframed” project, which I started in 2009. I use archival images, taking them out of their original context and cropping them to give them a new life depending on the context. It’s all about asserting that what’s important is no longer creating an image, but what we do with that image. This is a project that I did in Baden Baden, Ellis Island, and the underground tunnels at the Palais de Tokyo, where I worked with Os Gemeos last April to mount pictures of pianos. This recalled how the place was used by the Nazis to stock all the things they stole from Jews during the occupation of Paris. The places I choose to display my work guide the choice and meaning of my projects. The monuments lend a certain prominence to some projects and give them a new scale, but they are not at the origin of my work. The choice to work on a particular monument only makes sense if it allows me to bring something new to a pre-existing edifice.

Today, it’s impossible to see the Mona Lisa without seeing people taking pictures of themselves in front of her. The Louvre Pyramid is one of the most visited and photographed monuments in the world. André Gunther has called the selfie “the most representative photographic practice of contemporary visual expression.” Artists have really taken off with it, like Martin Parr with his “The Selfie Stick” series, or Richard Prince with his portraits published on Instagram. What do you think of this new relationship people have with images?

When I started taking pictures, the concept of the selfie did not exist yet. You could turn your camera around to photograph yourself, but this phenomenon was taken to a whole new level in the 21st century. When I started out—and it’s not so long ago, since I only started 15 years ago—it was not easy to get your photographs out there. To do it, you had to have something to say. My work was about highlighting the image of anonymous people, within the scope of a project. So I started out with a participatory, “homemade” project. These past ten years have changed our relationship to images dramatically. The development of photography coupled with the advent of social media networks revealed a pathology that is inherent to people. Everybody became their own social network capable of managing their own information flow, of being their own media, like with Periscope, diffusing and controlling their own image… In fact, by its form, the full-frame portrait, this individualistic representation, is like my artistic practice, with its participatory construction. In this new context, my action takes on a whole new dimension since my signature has become, in the end, standard practice. When I see someone today photograph themselves in black and white à la JR, and share it in public spaces (digital or urban), it makes me think about what is owed to my style, and what now belongs to the public domain. This is where the “Inside Out” project sprang from, where I give people my style and become a mere printer for their projects. But unlike a selfie, I ask them to take a stance and rally people around their idea. What has motivated me from the start is the desire to go see for myself the bigger picture, situations, and people, to challenge misconceptions about the suburbs, the Palestinian conflict, or women’s role in countries in crisis. At the Louvre, it’s this same idea of opening our eyes to see the place we are standing in in a different light. We don’t go to the Louvre only to bring back souvenirs in pictures.

It sounds like the famous “I was here” phenomenon, which gave birth to graffiti art.

We take shortcuts today: people are more in the photo of the moment than in the moment itself. The collage on the Pyramid challenges our reflexes. You have to find the best standpoint to see the anamorphic image, or on the contrary, break it down. The work therefore gets you to move around physically, but also incites the imagination and challenges perspectives and ideas. The viewer is not passive. There will only be one standpoint from which you can see the entire work as a whole, and other angles where it will be broken down. It’s the role of art to call into question our points of view.

Why do you always choose to work with black and white photos for your outdoor works?

It’s like an antidote to advertisements in a time of super high-definition overload. When I was pasting in Sierra Leone, someone asked me, jokingly, if we still didn’t have color photography in France. In addition to being universal, black and white images set themselves apart from advertisements and are never used by political parties. It’s essential to distinguish my images from those that invade the public space on a daily basis.

You are one of the first artists to have a website (with the “Photo of the Day” section which was an Instagram before its time). You are on Instagram and Snapchat on a daily basis. Your participatory project “Inside Out” would not exist were it not for a world defined by user-generated content. How has the digital revolution impacted your work?

My work is ephemeral. That is why, from the start, I wanted to document it, the better to share it. My pastings are made to be seen by the largest number of people possible, without filters, for free. Very early on, I started sharing my projects by getting my images out there on sites, blogs and in books. My work is destined to disappear in the public space: the anamorphic portrait of Benedita Florencio Monteiro pasted in 2009 in the staircase of the Morro Da Providência favela only lasted three days, but the image of the pasting continued to circulate on social media networks, in publications and expositions. The projects exist outside the memories of those who have seen them and those who helped create them. The advent of social media accelerated my approach. From the start, my website helped me be my own medium, to get my projects out there on my own and to create ties with others. This helped me find other projects and other walls to work on.

Today you can still find the “Get Involved” tab on my website where anybody who wants to can join the adventure. I met new people on Instagram and discovered new places to take photos, like the eye I pasted in Times Square that I could finally take a picture of from the window of a neighbor who contacted me. Social media networks amplify my creative process, which is based on sharing, meeting people, the participatory and independence. And the proliferation of images we are seeing today has put artists in their place by forcing them to redefine their role. There are thousands of photographers who take beautiful photos on Instagram. But an artist can no longer be simply a producer of images. Only a creator of projects can incite people to question, and propose new ideas. An artist is a go-between. This is the positive side of the current proliferation of photographs: the image is no longer the subject. This new context forces the artist to re-think his position, just like the invention of photography called into question the role of the painter who strove to represent reality.

For ten years you have kept your private life private while putting yourself out there on social media networks. Why do you continue to defend your anonymity when it’s clear that you are now a public figure?

I was using a pseudonym before anonymity became the new normal with the Internet, this arena where the entire world can hide behind false identities. JR are my initials. I come from the world of graffiti, so I wasn’t going to sign my real name on my “street exhibitions” that were illegal. Still today, the majority of projects I do are illegitimate, without authorization: putting up images in France seems normal, but I’ve been arrested or kicked out of other countries. My projects are carried out in a gray zone. Recently I pasted images on a wall in Istanbul of portraits of old people who lived through the secularization of Turkey. Some were destroyed by the local authorities. But I discovered something new by being anonymous: my identity is not the key for understanding my work. While a graffiti artist most often signs his work with his “blaze”, my photography puts others in the limelight, their faces, their portraits, their stories. So it’s not my name that counts, it’s the bridge I build to reach these people. To understand my work, it’s not useful to know that my family has roots in many places, from Eastern Europe to India, that my religion is Zoroastrianism, that my girlfriend’s name is Latifa Cohen-Durand, or that I’d like to get married and have kids some day.

Your project at the Louvre includes a series of conferences with artists, journalists and art critics who will be exploring several topics related to your work, from art in situ to the revival of photography in the digital age. You recently published a book and organized an exhibition for children at the Pompidou Center. Where does this growing desire to explain your work come from?

I’ve been trying to help people understand my work since 2008. It’s important to explain where I’m coming from, who these people in the photographs are, why these projects are totally financially independent (which does not go without saying for most people who are used to projects being financed by advertising or patrons). That is why my projects always come with a book or short film or feature film like “Women Are Heroes,” shot in 2010 to pay tribute to women from Liberia, Kenya, Cambodia and India. At the TED Prize conference in 2011, I paid particular attention to how my projects are viewed to create links between them, explain how they are all coherent. This allowed me to take my “Inside Out” project in new directions: I surrendered my arms to the whole world (black and white portraits and glue) and became a mere printer of photographs. I recently published a book explaining my projects to children. Children ask real questions. Nowadays, we have lost our bearings. I want to tap into the power of memory, transmit the stories of the past, give voice to the memories of old people, for children and adults to hear. Young people are open to art, it’s a way to access other worlds, broaden your horizons and challenge perceived notions. For the Louvre projects, there is a series of conferences lined up. People often ask me for answers. But that is not my role as an artist: art is about questioning the world.




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