JR is probably one of the most recognizable artists working in contemporary and public art today. He has transcended pop-culture to be a spokesperson for public art. The exhibition at the Museum Frieder Burda is being curated by Patricia Kamp in close collaboration with JR. Using photographs and videos by the artist, it presents his early and ongoing projects and thus provides a retrospective look into JR’s overall artistic development.
The exhibition in Baden-Baden focuses, among other things, on the FACE 2 FACE project. In 2007, JR organizes the largest illegal photography exhibition ever: he produced portraits in the Middle East of Israelis and Palestinians with the same professions — for example, teachers, shopkeepers, sculptors — and posted the enormous photographs on the walls of buildings in the settlements on both sides of the border, including at the border installations themselves. The message is obvious: the hostile groups cannot be distinguished on the basis of their facial expression.
Within the scope of the exhibition at the Museum Frieder Burda UNFRAMED is also coming to Baden-Baden. As a large-scale project in the city’s urban space, UNFRAMED BADEN-BADEN addresses German-French history and the friendship between the two countries. By putting up posters featuring historical photographs from people’s private photo albums in Baden-Baden’s historic city, JR places the theme in a new context. In the run-up to the exhibition, citizens of Baden-Baden were invited to participate and submit their own personal material. The city has always been a link between Germany and France where, after decades of enmity, the reluctant rapprochement between the two countries is palpable.