JR is a French artist aged 28 who shows in the street all over the world and gets the attention of people who don't usually visit museums. A mixture of art and gesture, his work raises issues of commitment, freedom, identity and boundaries.
This uncommissioned "infiltration art" is to be found in the form of enormous grimacing portraits and eyes on buildings in working-class Paris suburbs, on walls in the Middle East, on trains in Kenya and in Brazil's favelas. Art practised this way sets up no separation between artist and viewer.
Since he has opted for remaining anonymous, JR has all the freedom he needs for setting up encounters between his subjects and his public. Triggering questions is what his work is all about.
In Arles he's offering an installation that brings the tools of his new project INSIDE OUT together in a PHOTO BOOTH. Here the basic printing principle of the poster is pushed to monumental proportions.
INSIDE OUT is an international participatory art project that lets each player receive his or her own portrait, then share the experience by posting the image anywhere in the world in support of an idea, a project or a cause. Internauts can also post their portraits on www.insideoutproject.net – or replace them with the image of a friend or hero, and add a personal story, a message or a narrative. The artist then sends the 90 x 135 cm black and white portrait poster to the internaut by mail, challenging him to post it somewhere in his city as a way of sharing part of his identity, his beliefs or his causes. Anyone who wants to can extend this big poster tactic to another group and the resultant pictures can be uploaded onto the project site.
IMPORTANT: By entering the PHOTO BOOTH the visitor accepts JR's approach and agrees to take part in the INSIDE OUT project. He will provide his full name and email address. His portrait will be taken, then uploaded onto the project site: www.insideoutproject.net. The project's legal terms and conditions can be consulted on www.insideoutproject.net/site/legal. The visitor is free to leave the booth if he does not wish to be photographed.