New JR Book: Women Are HeroesJuxtapoz // Monday, 07 Dec 2009
After Portrait of a Generation, staged in the Paris suburbs in 2006, and Face2Face, in the Middle East in 2007, Women Are Heroes is the third part of the 28mm series, named for the lens that French photographer JR uses to get extreme close-ups of the models whose portraits he makes.
Women Are Heroes is an adventure book that transports you to Africa, Asia and South America. Young artist JR takes you to the sorts of places you may fantasize or hear about on television when some dramatic event occurs, but which are far from the usual tourist spots.
His motive for taking us so far afield is to raise some fundamental issues. Women Are Heroes talks about women who sometimes walk side by side with death and often embrace life, moving from tears to laughter. They are generous women who have nothing, but are willing to share, women who have painful pasts and want to build bright futures. Searching for what is common in their gaze, we come closer to what is universal: the human factor.
Women Are Heroes is a tribute to women, whose dignity is highlighted when JR puts their photographs up on the walls of their villages and all over the world. The women express the hardships they encounter in a world dominated by men. They share their nightmares and dreams in front of JR’s camera, and also express their joy and energy.
Nowadays, with the multiplicity of artistic and news images, their rapid circulation and globalization, artists can rethink their work. JR has taken an original path, creating huge, ephemeral pieces of art with the total participation of the communities he collaborates with.
Elderly women are models for a day, and children become artists for a week. In this form of art, there is no stage separating the actor from the audience.
Like a wildflower popping up between slabs of concrete, JR’s artwork appears in the most unexpected places.
Women Are Heroes has enabled JR to share this experience and keep the promise he made to the women: to take their stories on a journey around the world.
Buy this book HERE.