JR, ‘28 Millimètres : Women Are Heroes, Swimming Pool, Intercontinental Hotel, Horizontale, Monrovia, Liberia’, 2008, JR Studio

After his first trip during which he shot the portraits, JR went back to the region for the posting. He was much awaited. Followed by a crowd of kids, he started to post the portraits. Sara found her place on a broken bridge which is still necessary to cross the river, Manina stood on the remaining walls of a broken house. And in the empty and dry swimming pool of Monrovia, there are the eyes of Haya, who has shed enough tears to fill it up to the edge.
During the posting, the reactions were immediate, raw, and sometimes brutal. People were asking lots of questions. Why faces? Why women? Did they do something special? Why here? What does it mean? Why is it in black and white, don’t they have colours now in France? Are these women all dead? Of course, they received explanations.

About JR

A semi-anonymous street artist of international renown, JR plasters giant, monochrome photographs of faces in urban centers—on rooftops and walls, in church windows, and along the sides of buses. Calling the street his gallery and “using art to turn the world inside out,” JR delivers a message of social action, telling the stories of the marginalized or voiceless. “Portrait d’une Generation” (2004-06) featured images of young African immigrants hamming for the camera, plastered in the Paris suburbs in the aftermath of major rioting; for his project “Face 2 Face” (2005-07), JR pasted huge images of similarly jovial Jews and Palestinians along the border marking disputed areas between Israel and Palestine. JR describes his practice as a continuation of the “tagging” he did as a young graffiti artist: “I’m tagging faces of persons,” he says. “They are the ones responsible for their image. When the people react to the project, it becomes their project.”

French, b. 1983