A French artist called JR began his career of expression tagging walls (graffiti) in Paris. One night he found a camera on the subway, and a photographer was born. On March 3 he received the 2011 TED prize for his work bridging gaps between communities that are represented in media as nearly irreparable rips in our societal fabric, tears that seem too complex and tattered to mend. His method? Wheatpasting large format portraits of people to walls in public spaces. This simple technique opens channels of thought and dialog that are unmanipulated by political agenda or corporate brokering.
The work for which he was recognized with the TED prize began with the public housing riots in Paris in 2006 and continued to the favalas of Rio, the wall between Israel and Palestine, India, Africa and Switzerland. The specifics of communal pains are obviously different in each city and country, but the objective is always the same, to give a face to the people most effected by crisis, to show there are more similarities joining us than dissimilarities working against us, to conjure curiosity and interest for groups that have been stripped of their individuality, to restore humanity in us all, to underscore our connectedness.
As part of the TED prize he made a wish: I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we’ll turn the world…INSIDE OUT.”
JR invites you, yes YOU, to go to http://www.insideoutproject.net/ and upload an image representing that which you feel most passionate. He will send you the poster to put up in the appropriate community.
Your involvement with Tumblr and social media in general is to make a statement about what matters to you, to demonstrate your individual tastes and passions. Consider what they are. For some of you motivations are clear, others may have to take a deeper look behind aesthetics for the driving passion. Either way, step out from behind the anonymity of reblogs and start a conversation with a different subset in your community. You don’t have to finish it, just start it.
Todd Haynes “Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story” 1987, 43 min.
“With Barbie dolls as the principal actors, Superstar portrays the life of Karen Carpenter and her battle with anorexia. Haynes never secured the rights to the Carpenters’ music he used in the movie, and Richard Carpenter filed an injunction that kept Superstar from public release. Even without Carpenter’s court order, the film would probably have been stopped by the notoriously litigious Mattel, the makers of Barbie.