How paper and glue rekindled a sense of hope in a supermax prison
Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Mind, Body, Spirit- Part 3.
The artist JR pastes massive photographs on surfaces ranging from the Louvre to the courtyard floor of a supermax prison. JR explores how his monumental work inspires hope, change and connection.
JR is a French artist who works anonymously to create massive works of street art. In 2011, JR received the TED Prize, which prompted the launch of "Inside Out," a global project giving people worldwide the chance to make statements of public art in the form of black-and-white portraits that are blown up and pasted on spaces such as a footbridge in Hong Kong, the sidewalks of Times Square in New York and the dome of the Pantheon in Paris. More than 450,000 people from 141 countries have taken part in the project since 2011.
One of his more recent projects is a large-scale pasting in a maximum security prison in Tehachapi, California. The mural, as well as recordings made by the inmates who participated in the project, can be seen in the app JR: Murals.
Other recent projects from JR include the 2018 Oscar-nominated feature documentary Visages Villages, co-directed with director Agnès Varda, a TIME cover, a video mural featuring 1,200 people presented at SFMOMA, an exhibition on the abandoned hospital on Ellis Island and a huge installation at the US–Mexico border fence. His work is the subject of the 2021 documentary Paper & Glue.
This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Rachel Faulkner White and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour and Manoush Zomorodi. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.
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