JR / Paris-New York

Photo : JR


JR is an anonymous French artist making an indelible mark through his collage and photographic projects, transforming streets into the largest art gallery in the world. His works combine art and action; they involve communities in the artistic process of his collage pasting initiatives, and deal with commitment, liberty, identity and limits.

Author of the 28 Millimètres project started in 2004 in the Clichy-Montfermeil neighbourhood, he travels to the Middle East with Face 2 Face (2007), then to Brazil and Kenya with Women Are Heroes (2008-2011), also producing a project-inspired documentary presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010.

In 2017, he teams up with Agnès Varda to co-direct Visages, Villages (Faces, Places) a film presented in the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival of that year. The film wins the Œil d’Or for best documentary, and is nominated in the same category at the César Awards and the Oscars in 2018.

In 2011, he wins the TED Prize, and formulates the wish of using art to change the world. Hence, the creation of Inside Out, an international participatory art project through which people from around the world are given giant portrait of themselves and get to share the experience by pasting them in support of an idea, a project, an action. Since then, Inside Out has inspired 1,801 group actions in 142 countries, for a total of 362,700 portraits.

Women are heroes

For the 2020 BNSC, the Women Are Heroes video will be presented at the Galerie d'art du Parc de Trois-Rivières. Initially, Women Are Heroes was designed to emphasize the central role of women within communities. The enlarged portraits created by JR highlight the dignity of these women who see their photos pasted on the walls of their villages. The video recordings of their expressions of concern demonstrate their active commitment to improving living conditions and to keeping a watchful eye on the well- being of their fellow citizens. Anonymous and heroic, these women fight for equality and the respect of human rights. They believe in their own power to act and in a promising future.

Inside Out / Sculpter le social

JR’s global project, combined with the expertise of the BNSC team in urban events, becomes Inside Out / sculpter le social. The outcome is a space for sharing, discussion, respect and benevolence, uniting people as well as various communities and actors for social change from Trois-Rivières, around the 2020 BNSC thematic To believe.

Inside Out / sculpter le social, a seemingly 2D artwork, is a pretext for making 3D connections and producing a meaningful social sculpture. Drawing citizens together in a common project to create profound social relationships is to highlight the poetics emerging from differences through urban art (or Street Art), as viewed by JR.

Over 200 portraits are unfurled on one of the last industrial buildings of Trois-Rivières and at Carré 150 in Victoriaville. They are encompassed in an action of international scope. Drawn from cultural diversity, these images provoke reflections on living together or, as astutely stated by JR, “turning the world inside out”, one global art action at a time.

The site welcoming JR’s work in Trois-Rivières was selected with its planned vocation in mind, that is to say, to help shine a light on the knowledges and practices of agri-food producers and artisans, and to mobilize the population around a local and seasonal food supply. We wish to thank Étienne Boisvert, the professional photographer who captured the portraits, and the team of Innovation and Développement économique Trois-Rivières for recognizing the potential of the Inside Out / sculpter le social project.

We also would like to thank the staff and members of COMSEP, the Centre d’amitié autochtone de Trois-Rivières, the Service d’accueil des nouveaux arrivants de Trois-Rivières, the Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie, the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de la Mauricie and the CAIBF of Victoriaville for their participation to the project.

Photos : Étienne Boisvert

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