JR Plasters Paris Panthéon With Thousands Of Anonymous Portraits

Arts & Culture

Thanks to a photo-booth truck and the web, snapshots of unknown people will be plastered all over the Panthéon during renovations.

Tiffany Nesbit
  • 12 june 2014

Street art is not a new art form, but recent technologies have brought global attention to the works created by many street artists. One artist who has garnered a particularly large following is JR, the ‘undercover photographer’ who has traveled everywhere from Kenya to New York creating works that allow people to share experiences and support ideas. Since his 2011 TED Prize win, he has been working on INSIDE OUT, a project that allows everyone to share their portraits to make a statement about what they stand for. Contrary to the idea of street art being unsanctioned, the French government has commissioned JR to create an installment that covers the floor, copula, and dome of the Panthéon in Paris.

Titled Au Panthéon, this installation features 4,160 anonymous wheat-pasted portraits that will be visible while the Panthéon is being restored. The Centre des Monuments Nationaux chose JR because they felt an INSIDE OUT-inspired installation would adequately capture the ‘humanistic and universal values embodied by the Panthéon’.The majority of the photographs were taken by photo-booth trucks which were stationed outside of nine major monuments from February 25th- March 28th, including the Palais du Tau in Reims, La Rochelle, and the Angers Chateau. People who were unable to be on location for photographing were invited to upload pictures online, comprising about a fourth of all the portraits.

The Panthéon has been in disrepair for quite some time, and restorations will take place on the upper parts, the peristyle, interior, exterior facings, exterior flooring, and dome over the next ten years; but Au Panthéon will only be on display through October 5th. Though only one component of the INSIDE OUT project, this addition places JR in the company of people like Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, and Émile Zola. To be part of INSIDE OUT click here.

Au Panthéon // JR // INSIDE OUT

[h/t] Cross Connect

+street art

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