Monday, March 16, 2009

Daily Heroes

'All the women I focus on are for me daily heroes that you dont usually hear about.'

The French installation artist and photographer, JR, is on a mission to bring attention to women whose lives have been marginalised globally and within their own communities.

"I am interested in small fights of anonymous people."

JR's journey has taken him to some of the poorest countries in the world including Sudan, Sierra Leone, Brazil, Kenya and Liberia, where he uses a 28-millimeter wide-angle lens to get an extreme close up resulting in images that truely are windows to the soul.

He finds his subjects by asking women if they have women they admire, finding those women and asking again.

He posts his photos on walls and surfaces in the places these women come from giving the local communities the power over whether the work is shown and how long it stays. Sometimes the walls have new 'owners' and often the work is removed within hours or days.

Uneven crumbling walls, crinkled corrugated iron doors, half demolished buildings of, in this case, a forcably evicted community, the side of a rubbish truck, the collapsed roof in a floating village. The texture and reality of the places giving strength to the emotion and intimacy of the womens stories, their lives.

The works are meant to provoke discussion and usually do but here in Cambodia he found it much more difficult to create discussion among Cambodians many of whom had never had any direct experience of contemporary art before.

Here is JR at work in Africa.

Photos are all from JR's website.


Verity said...

These look amazing. What an interesting and thought provoking concept.

Verity said...

Me again! I thought you might be interested in this article 'A coming of age for Cambodia Artists' - in the International Herald Tribune:

Tanya said...

Hey thanks Verity! It is great to see Cambodian artists getting an international forum for their art. Very contemporary stuff too I'd have loved to have seen the incense houses and woven sculpture. Sadly since there is very little market for such art here -yet- we rarely see it displayed in Cambodia although there are more art galleries springing up all the time.