Momentum, la mécanique de l’épreuve
"Momentum, la mécanique de l'épreuve" is JR's first major exhibition in a French institution. It brings together the artist's first photographs, monumental collages of his largest projects, and several new installations.
MOMENTUM means an impulse, thrust, or movement. Physics defines it as the action of an external force on a system, which determines its motion and speed. “Momentum, la mécanique de l’épreuve”* reveals the dynamics of the creative process JR uses when he intervenes in a city or in the heart of a community, giving it a new face, altering our perception of it, or suggesting a new way of interpreting it.
Everyone know the monumental aspect of JR’s work, but this exhibition shows a less familiar side.
Visitors to the exhibition witness the transformation of bodies, images, dimensions and space. The show is both a journey into the work of JR and an opportunity to see behind the scenes.
“Momentum, la mécanique de l’épreuve” includes several major photographic series, some old, some new, presented together at the MEP: Portrait of a Generation (young residents of Clichy-Montfermeil pulling faces at the camera), Women are heroes (a tribute to women who play an essential role in society but who are the first victims of war, crime, rape, or political and religious fanaticism), Wrinkles of the city (old people forgotten by society who end up blending in with abandoned buildings), and Unframed, in which JR appropriates and recontextualises the works of other photographers, giving them a new meaning.
Last but not least, for the first time in Europe the exhibition presents JR’s latest mural, a video work entitled The Gun Chronicles: a Story of America. This piece explores the wide range of opinions relating to the gun debate that splits the United States, via portraits of 245 Americans who have connections with the issue. Interviewed by JR and Time, their testimonials and opinions are presented side by side on a wall of moving images: gun collectors, hunters, police officers, lobbyists, victims, doctors, nurses, teachers, and so on.
For JR, the street is the largest art gallery in the world. Using the technique of flyposting, he exhibits freely on the walls of the entire world, attracting the attention of people who do not usually go to museums.
His project titled 28 Millimètres, which began in Clichy-Montfermeil in 2004, continued in the Middle East with Face 2 Face (2007), and in Brazil and Kenya with Women Are Heroes (2008-2011), which was presented in a documentary at the Cannes festival in 2010 (Critics’ Week).
JR’s has created an art of “infiltration“. When his photos are posted, communities take part in the artistic process. During these interventions, actors and audience are not separated by a stage. JR’s anonymity and the fact that no explanation is provided for these giant portraits allow him to leave room for an encounter between a subject who is also an actor and a passer-by who is also a performer: this is the essence of his work.
Audio-guide in French only.
A catalogue, published by Éditions Clémentine de la Féronnière complements the exhibition.
Limited edition art box
To coincide with the exhibition « Momentum, la mécanique de l’épreuve », Wombat produced a new limiter edition art box devoted to JR.
Partners & patrons
In partnership with
In partnership with the MEP, the RATP will be exhibiting works by JR in 11 stations until 10 February 2019. You can find them in the stations : Bir-Hakeim, Châtelet, Gare de Lyon, Hôtel de Ville, La Chapelle, Luxembourg, Madeleine, Nanterre- Université, Pyramides, Saint-Denis Porte de Paris et Saint-Michel.