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Thursday, July 2nd: JR

JR Mural

Today is Thursday, July 2nd

Rag & Bone Bindery is open for business

(read our post from Wednesday, March 25th for more information about how we're able to remain open for business)

Hello everyone! Today we’re looking at French mural artist JR, who works to depict everyday people as they want to be represented through site specific installations that merge photography, collage, and technology. Some of JR’s recent works have included his piece “Tehachapi,” in which he photographed incarcerated individuals and the prison staff one by one in the prison Tehachapi in Southern California, a maximum security 4 facility. He then collaged the figures from each photograph into a single image that was printed onto strips of paper and wheat pasted onto the floor of the recreation space within Tehachapi by JR’s team and his project’s participants. The final installation was shot from above with a drone, and accompanied by a free app, “JR:Murals,” available foriPhone andAndroid, which features each participant in the project and their stories. 

“Tehachapi” was realized through a process similar to JR’s creation of an earlier work, the Chronicles of San Francisco, in which he endeavored to capture the whole of San Francisco’s great diversity within one mural. He created a mobile photography studio in a truck that he and his team set out in every day for a month to find people willing to share their stories and faces for the project. Upon completion, The final piece was installed in the SFMOMA. On the opening day of the show, the museum was filled with everyone who had been featured in the project, some of whom were regular patrons, others who had never been. After saying his part to present his work to the city, JR passed his microphone around the room to everyone from the mural who had showed up to see it. JR described the experience as a kind of “town hall” for the people of SF, unified around their collective portrait. As in Tehachapi, the app served to bring the image to life; any face could be scanned to find a recorded testimony from the subject.

You can learn more about the making of “The Chronicles of San Francisco”here, and more about “Tehachapi”here.