Born in 1983 in Paris, France
Lives and works in Paris, France and New York, USA

 JR

JR

Born in France in 1983, works in Paris and New York
Winner of the TED Prize in 2011


SOLO SHOWS & INSTALLATIONS (selection):

2016
- "Project for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games", in situ installations, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- "JR at the Louvre", temporary installation, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
- Projet pour la Galerie des enfants, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

2015
- "Ghosts of Ellis Island", Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong, China
- "A Survey Exhibition", HOCA, Hong Kong Contemporary Art Foundation, Hong Kong, China
- "Uprising - An Inside Out project", Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, CAC Malaga, Spain
- "Unframed : La Voix du Nord", Lille, France
- "DECADE. Portrait d'une génération", Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
- "JR", Lazarides, London, UK
- "JR Black and White Night", Nuit blanche, Toronto, Canada
- "JR's Picture Show. 24 Frames per Second", The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
- "ELLIS", Pop up exhibition & screening, Orchard Street, New York, USA
- "ELLIS", Pop up exhibition & screening, Miami Design District, Miami, USA
- " The Standing March", COP 21 Project, JR and Darren Aronofsky, Paris, France

2014
- Au Panthéon!, Paris, France
- "Unframed Ellis Island"; permanent installation in Ellis Island, New York, USA
- "JR", Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany
- "Close up", Magda Danysz Gallery, Shanghai
- Power Station of Art Museum, Shanghai
- New York City Ballet, New York, USA
- Contemporary Art Museum, Dallas, USA

2013
- "JR" Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, USA
- Permanent installation at Friche de Belle de Mai, Marseille, France
- "JR", Watari Museum, Tokyo, Japan
- Inside Out Project, Times Square
- "The Wrinkles of the City", Action in Berlin, Germany

2012
- "The Wrinkles of the City", Action in Cuba, USA
- "Pattern", Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
- "Inside Out Project", Action in Haïti

2011
- "Wall & Paper", Galerie Perrotin, The M Building, Miami, USA
- "Encrages", Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
- "Inside Out Project", Action in Brooklyn, USA
- "The Wrinkles of the City", Action in Los Angeles, USA

2009
- "Women are Heroes", Installation at Ile Saint-Louis, invited by Pavillon de l'Arsenal, Paris, France
- "Women are Heroes", Casa França Brazil, Rio di Janeiro, Brazil
- "Women are Heroes", Action in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2008
- "Portrait of a Generation", Installation at The Tate Modern, London, UK
- Installation, invited by The Rath Museum, Geneva, Switzerland
- "Women are Heroes", Action in Brussels, Belgium
- "Women are Heroes", Action in Slum of Kiberia, Nairobi, Kenya
- "Women are Heroes", Action in Favela Morro Da Providencia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- "Women are Heroes", New Delhi, Action in Jaipur, India
- "The Wrinkles of the City", Action in Carthagene, Spain

2007
- "Face2Face", Action in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Separation wall / Security fence, Israel-Palestine

2006
- Installation, Paris Town Hall Square, Paris, France
- Installation, La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris France
- Installation, Espace des Blancs Manteaux, Paris, France

2004
- "Portrait of a Generation", Action in Les Bosquets ghetto, Montfermeil, Paris, France

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GROUP SHOWS :

2016
- "Post No Bills: Public Walls as Studio and Source", Neuberger Museum of Art, New York, USA

2015
- "Tu dois changer ta vie", Tripostal, Lille, France
- "Open Source: Engaging Audiences in Public Space", Philadelphia, USA
- "Bonjour la France", Seoungnam  Art Centre & Goyang Culture Foundation, Seongnam & Goyang, Korea, Curated by Sunhee Choi, Korea


2014
- "#Street Art, l'innovation au coeur du mouvement", Fondation EDF, Paris, France

2013
- "L'amour atomique", Palais des Beaux Arts, Dinard, France
- "Happy Birthday Galerie Perrotin / 25 ans", Tripostal, Lille, France
- "Choices", Magda Danysz, Shanghai, China

2012
- "Festival Images", Photobooth installation, Vevey, Switzerland`
- "The Wrinkles of the City" Biennial of La Habana, Cuba
- "Art & Toys - Collection Selim Varol", Me Collectors Room, Berlin, Germany

2011
- "Shanghai ! La tentation de l'Occident", Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez, Bordeaux, France
- "Paris-Delhi-Bombay", Photobooth installation at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
- "Art In the Streets", MOCA Museum, Los Angeles, USA
- "Emirati Expressions", Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- "Les Rencontres d'Arles", Arles, France

2010
- "Viva la revolucion : A dialogue with the Urban Landscape", Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA
- "Festival Images", Elysee Museum, Vevey, Switzerland
- "The Wrinkles of the City", Contemporary art Biennal, Shanghai, China
- Springmann Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany

2009
- "Les Rencontres photographiques d’Arles", Arles, France

2007
- Venise Bienniale, Arsenal , Venise, Italy
- FOAM Museum of Photography, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- "Les Rencontres Photographiques d'Arles", Arles, France

2006
- "Clichy-sans-Clichés" , Clichy-sous-Bois, France
- Milk, Saskatoon, Canada
- The Orphanage, Los Angeles
- 11 Spring, Mahnattan, New York, USA

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BOOKS & FILMS :

- " The Standing March", COP 21 Project, JR and Darren Aronofsky, Paris, France
- "Ellis", 2015, directed by JR, written by Eric Roth, starring Robert de Niro
- "Les Bosquets", 2015, directed by JR
- "Rivages", 2014, directed by Guillaume Cagniard
- "Wrinkles of the City - Havana, Cuba", 2013, directed by JR & Jose Parla
- "Inside Out Project", 2013, Release of JR's second film, produced by HBO (english)
- "Women are Heroes" Release of JR's first film, selected at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival

- "JR : l'Art peut il changer le monde ?" published by Phaidon, 2015
- "Dans l'objectif de JR. Pour les 11-15 ans", published by Pyramides Editions, 2015
- "Wrinkles of the City. A project by JR", Published by Editions Alternatives, 2015
- "The Wrinkles of the City, Los Angeles", Catalogue published by Damiani, 2013 (english & french)
- "Inside Out Japan", Catalogue published by Watari Museum, Tokyo, 2013 (english & japanese)
- "The Wrinkles of the City, Cuba" Catalogue published by Damiani, 2012 (english)
-"28 MM", Catalogue published by Editions Alternatives, 2011 (french)
-"The Wrinkles Of The City, Shanghai", Catalogue published by Drago, 2011 (english)
-"Women Are Heroes", Catalogue published by Editions Alternatives, 2011 (english & french)


JR - 28 Millimètres, Women Are Heroes - Swimming Pool, Intercontinental Hotel, Verticale, Monrovia, Liberia, 2008

JR - 28 Millimètres, Women Are Heroes - Swimming Pool, Intercontinental Hotel, Verticale, Monrovia, Liberia, 2008

Prints

1 000,00 €

JR - 28mm, dans l'objectif de JR

JR - 28mm, dans l'objectif de JR

Livres

18,91 €

JR - The Wrinkles of the City - Des rides et des villes

JR - The Wrinkles of the City - Des rides et des villes

Livres

42,65 €

JR - L'art peut-il changer le monde?

JR - L'art peut-il changer le monde?

Livres

47,35 €

JR - Unframed - The Ghosts of Elis Island

JR - Unframed - The Ghosts of Elis Island

Livres

27,49 €

JR - Artocratie en Tunisie

JR - Artocratie en Tunisie

Livres

14,22 €

  • 2015, December
    ArtReview — 4 PAGES

  • 2015, December
    Art Press — 1 PAGE

  • 2015, December
    Wall Street Journal — 3 PAGES

  • 2015, September
    Beaux Arts Magazine — 1 PAGE

  • 2015, August
    Madame Figaro — 6 PAGES

JR

by Owen KAEN

JR “GHOSTS OF ELLIS ISLAND”, an Unframed project, short preview
Exhibition at Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
March 12 - April 25, 2015
                 
Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong is pleased to present, “Ghosts of Ellis Island. An Unframed Project, Short Preview” an exhibition of works which document French artist JR’s latest Unframed project—a permanent installation which animates, enlivens and offers unprecedented access to New York’s Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital.
 
Open to the public for the first time since 1954, the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital facilitated the passage of a massive wave of immigration to the United States from 1902 to 1930. All told, over a million patients deemed too ill for immediate naturalization would pass through its walls. Having to screen for and treat a veritable catalogue of diseases from around the world would transform the hospital, the first public health facility in the country, into a test-case for then state-of-the art sterilization and diagnostic procedures. The program proved effective, though following tightened restrictions on immigration in the 1930s, the facility was repurposed to house disabled soldiers and, later, as a detention center for Axis prisoners following the Second World War. In 1954, outmoded and disused, the Hospital was shuttered, abandoned, and, until recently, largely forgotten.
 
Today, the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital stands much as it was abandoned; but after sixty years of silence and disrepair, local vegetation has begun to reclaim the grounds, introducing grass and vine to what must’ve once been a starkly modern facility. As the former setting for the confluence of illness and recovery, health and death, of prisoners and heroes, aspirations and disappointments, if any place might be said to be haunted, Ellis Island Hospital certainly meets all criteria. And it is from this heavily charged genius loci that JR, in coordination with Save Ellis Island, has undertaken “Unframed - Ghosts of Ellis Island.” As with previous Unframed projects (Grottaglie, Italy (2009), Vevey, Switzerland (2010), Sao Paulo, Brazil (2011), Washington, USA (2012), Marseille, France (2013)), JR does not compose his own photographs, but instead recuts existing photography, excising figures and portraits from their frames to recompose them in unexpected locales and public settings. The overall effect is equal parts stagecraft and public art, recalling the original photographs while redeploying them in such a way as to give them new life on confrontation with their viewers. With “Ghosts of Ellis Island” the manner in which the original subjects of JR’s source material are granted new life is perhaps even more direct: Culled from hospital archives, JR has repopulated the hospital with its former inmates, rendering its “ghosts” present and visible, and, in so doing, de-mystifying the very real sense in which the hospital is haunted with its own redolent history. Here, JR is less the artist as historian than he is artist as exorcist or ghost-seer, reconciling past, present, and viewer in artful communion.
 
On display in the present Hong Kong exhibition are four images taken from “Unframed – Ghosts of Ellis Island,” which serve to preview the New York project. All four images evince JR’s unique curatorial eye and talent for mise en scène. An organic sense for composition and lighting is matched with a talent for discovering and re-exposing the most immediately emotive of expressions and figures. In one image, through the remains of a multi-paned window, we are greeted by the sunlit faces of seven child patients, their hair wrapped, their expressions muted, their parents nowhere in sight. In another image, a sullen young woman is reinstalled on the wall behind his now rusted sickbed; she looks at us impatiently, even angrily, while an older woman, maybe an aunt or an older sister, sits at the foot of her bed disconsolate. The two of them blend into the crumbling discolored plaster as if exposed by careful excavation rather than having been applied by the artist after the fact. Elsewhere, a clan of dark-featured, prominent-eared immigrants poses stiffly, seriously for their portrait; they sit together, as if on a long bench, waiting by a ruined entrance to the hospital, the door still ajar. But in perhaps the most hopeful, though also potentially the most mournful image on display, the silhouettes of a small family can be seen standing just outside a floor length window; with their backs to us, husband, wife, and child look across New York Harbor at a distant Statue of Liberty. In another setting, a scene of this sort, so loaded with well-worn symbols, might come off as cliché or outright propagandistic; but rather than toning it down, JR has embraced the iconography, making deft use of the greatest advantage of his practice: reality. The Statue of Liberty in JR’s composition just is the Statute of Liberty; the window through which we are looking at her just is the window through which countless immigrants looked out at her too; and the little family before us truly was there, and remains there, still haunting the old hospital as three of the ghosts of Ellis Island.


JR

by JR by Francois Hebel - Director of the Rencontres photographiques d'Arles, France


JR’s pseudonym demonstrates both the humour and keen conscientiousness he brings to his work. He gave himself the same nickname as the character from the television series Dallas, the perfect example of abjectness and the emblem of capitalism at its most egotistic. He did so because he wanted to take on the system on its own playing field, attacking it from the inside, like an alien that we allow to settle in without understanding it right away, until he takes power and drags us into his message. He started as a graffiti artist. By photographing his friends holding spray cans and by pasting an illegal exhibition on Paris’s walls, JR became a photographer, poster artist and activist all at the same time; he became a synthesis of his era.
In 2005 when the Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil suburbs in Paris erupted into violence, dragging a number of other French suburbs in their wake, the world media amplified the revolt. JR, 22 years old, grew up in a “calm” Parisian suburb that was a mix of individual homes and high-rise housing developments.
He felt the young people were experiencing an injustice. He himself had known the fear and elation of
living close to Paris without having access to its codes and of knowing his escapades were limited to
Auber or Halles.
He went to Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil and used a wide-angle lens to take portraits of the suburban youth, asking them to make a funny faces. His photos were ironic representations of the images of enraged social misfits being broadcast by the media. His photography subjects dissolved into uncontrollable laughter and his images triggered such hilarity that whoever looks at them now can only feel sympathy for the subjects.
Then comes the stroke of genius. Undoubtedly because he found it futile to display fine prints for a small group of viewers, he recalled that public walls were his natural working space. He printed his photos as giant posters, accentuating the proximity of the characters. They gave off an intense presence and the laughter was almost audible.
JR discarded the fundamentals of the artistic process; he improves the process by rejecting it, creating a system for political discourse that is more precise and universal. His methods for distributing his images became more refined; he increased the involvement of the populations he defends and organised his financial freedom and autonomy. His work is heartening because it doesn’t seek to create the work at any price; it seeks to create a social link, to bring together communities, to make people more aware.
JR explores the flexibility of photography. At a time when everyone is obsessed with printing and quality is inspected by collectors, when the label “visual artist” can add value to the image before it is even viewed, JR couldn’t care less for such conventions. He evokes the flexibility of photography and explores all of its possibilities.
Posters are his medium, the centre of his work. Since he happens to be a good photographer, which wouldn’t have been important for his work, he photographs his installations in their environment to produce images that are then sold by his fashionable gallery, which is his main source of funds. The press is not an end in itself but rather is used, along with the Internet, to echo the event.
Without knowing it, JR is part of a tradition that started with Claude Bricage and his “Photographier la ville” project (Photograph the City) from the early 1980s. Both a photographer and activist, Bricage started one of the first initiatives in the French département of Seine-Saint-Denis, which would be carried on by a number of others. In order to show the evolution of the French suburbs, courses were created so that young people could learn about their environment. The exhibition was displayed outdoors in 120 x 180 cm format in the cities involved.
Martin Parr caused scandal in London with his “Signs of the Times” series on English taste. The photos, showing the interior design of British homes and quotes from their residents, were displayed on billboards throughout London and in tube stations, without any explanation.
Guy Le Querrec created the advertising for the suburban Jazz festival “Banlieues bleues,” once again in Seine-Saint-Denis, on a 4 x 3 m poster in the Metro. The poster was blank to begin with and was updated daily with a new small photo of each day’s concert.
When I was running Magnum, I drew inspiration from this movement twice. The day after the military intervention in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, in 1989, when journalistic coverage was forbidden, we worked with Stuart Franklin to offer the famous photo of the person in a white shirt stopping the tanks to Amnesty International for a poster that was widely distributed. During the conflict in Bosnia, when the Serbians had been in control of Sarajevo for several months and the press had shockingly stopped covering the events, I proposed to Gilles Peress the idea of surrounding Paris with 3 x 8 m posters showing two of his photographs of the residents with only the phrase “Sarajevo 300,000 hostages.”
September 11th gave rise to one of the most moving initiatives, in which amateur and professional photo¬graphers brought their photos of the Twin Towers, shot when digital photography was just beginning, and tacked them up on the wall or hung them from the ceiling of a shop. The exhibit, “Here is New York,” became a temple, a space for gathering and exchange where the images were sold at low prices to support the families of the victims.
And finally, Israeli graphic designer David Tartakover obtained photographers’ permission for the reuse of their press photographs to produce unique posters denouncing the war-makers in the Israel-Palestine conflict tirelessly, peacefully and with fury. He still displays them in a window at the same café in Tel Aviv.
These projects are all very distant from the art market and the press, and represent a truly alternative form of public information. The messages are simple, but cannot be indirect. The photographs are not cropped, captioned or titled to modify their meaning, as the press tends to do tactlessly.
While developing his process and applying it to places a further away from home, JR strove to involve the populations in the installation of his projects. He promised corrugated roofs, the media for his portraits, to the inhabitants of Kenyan shantytowns so that they would watch over the installation during its short-lived existence. In the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, he gave the inhabitants canvas cloths covered in images to make their shelters more waterproof.
JR is not an event photographer. He forces us to see phenomena that we usually ignore out of habit and resignation, because their absurd violence is long-lasting; his most recent struggle to make us question the position of women in societies where they are not equal to men comes to mind. He created drastically simplified portraits with enquiring, penetrating, watchful yet solemn expressions. The barer JR makes his designs, the clearer his message becomes. He draws our attention with a powerful installation and invades us with these expressions that tug at our conscience long after we see them.
JR is to the current era of photography what Nan Goldin was in the 1980s. He doesn’t seek to be a virtuoso. In each of his projects he seeks to act as a witness for a community. Using posters and installing them in the actual landscape of the featured crisis, he invents a new tool for distribution, similar to what Goldin did with her audiovisual projections in cafés.
JR doesn’t want glory; he prefers the anonymity and the collective adventure produced by his projects. He handles humour with courage and manipulates the press, the Internet and the art market to serve his purpose, which has the great value of being purely political, even if that word scares his generation. He takes a stand and forces us to see his point of view; he gets involved.