On June 30 the first solo exhibition of the French artist JR opens at the PinchukArtCentre. Besides a series of his lithographs, the art center also presents Inside Out Photobooth: Inside Out Kyiv: We are here
JR’s exhibition occupies two floors of the art space. On the second floor is a series of lithographs giving an enticing view into his work and global artistic practice, and on the third floor are works from the Inside Out project.
Inside Out is JR’s global project with which he travels the world creating black and white portraits of ordinary people as well as massive collages.
The artist also brought to Kyiv a Photobooth Action installed in the PinchukArtCentre. The message of the Ukrainian action is ‘We are here’, the goal is to reproduce the project with the participation of the exhibition visitors.
‘This project will be a statement of strength where all Ukrainians take a stand, making clear: Ukraine and Ukraine’s future is theirs’.
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The artist also encouraged visitors to share their stories and experiences in a recording booth to ‘create an audio portrait of Ukrainians’. The recordings and photos will eventually be available online on the Inside Out website.
And the PinchukArtCentre team invites communities and groups of friends from all over Ukraine to take their portraits and their own Inside Out installations ‘by pasting the portraits in public spaces to amplify the message “We Are Here”’.
JR launched Inside Out in 2010. The idea was that photographers from all over the world could send him their works and get support — from advice on ideas to money to implement them.
The Inside Out photo series is usually displayed in a collage format of black and white portraits in public spaces. The Inside Out project is ‘a platform that helps communities around the world to stand up for what they believe in and spark global change locally’. Over the past decade, more than 500,000 people spanning across 150 countries and territories have participated in the project.
On June 30, along with JR’s exposition, the PinchukArtCentre will host solo exhibitions of Ukrainians Zhanna Kadyrova and Piotr Armianovski.
In March 2022, the French artist and photographer JR’s team traveled to Lviv to create a work called ‘Valeriia’, which became one of the covers of TIME magazine. It aimed to draw attention to the problems of internally displaced people who left Ukraine because of russia’s full-scale invasion.
The basis of the artist’s work is a 45×20 meter canvas with a picture of a Ukrainian girl held by about 100 people on Freedom Avenue near the Opera Theatre in Lviv. The final result of the action was a large-scale drone shot, which was placed on the cover of Time.
The project was subsequently shown in Paris, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Venice, Munich and the Vatican. On February 24, a canvas with Valeriia’s portrait was unfurled on Kontraktova Square in Kyiv.
During February and May ‘Valeriia’ was also presented in the art space ‘Module of Temporality’ in Kyiv, and during June — in Dnipro. In July, the work can be seen at MOT in Lutsk.
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In November 2022, JR and Ukrainian photographer Maryna Karpiy presented a joint project Children of War, dedicated to Ukrainian and Georgian children who were victims of russian aggression. It became a part of the global project Inside Out.
Children of War is a series of black and white portraits of Ukrainian children who managed to survive the war, Georgian children who live in the occupied territories of Georgia, and adults who survived the war in Abkhazia during their childhood. They were photographed by Maryna Karpiy.
The collage made from the photos was placed on the territory of the ‘Chronicle of Georgia’ monument by artist and sculptor Zurab Tsereteli.