Portrait of a Generation
Photographs by JR.
Editions Alternatives, Paris, 2006.
black-and-white illustrations throughout, 9½x13".
JR converts his pictures into posters and transforms our streets into universal open-air galleries. After his first guerilla exhibition on the walls of Montfermeils ghottois (Seine-Saint-Denis) in 2004, JR settled down right in the heart of the district armed with a 28 mm lens.
Collaborating with (fellow artist and filmmaker) Ladj Ly, he shot full frame portraits of young people from this neighbourhood and the nearby districts of The Forestiere in Clichy-sous-Bois, epicentre of the riots of fall 2005.
The first portraits were illegally pasted on the walls of Paris. With a certain 'in your face' rudeness they provoke passers-by and question the social and media representation of a generation that people only want to see outside the doors of Paris or on the news.
28mm: Portrait of a Generation is a collection of the 28 most meaningful portraits from the whole series. Included in the book are photographs of the work itself in isolation, installation views of the images in the streets of Paris, reactions from pedestrians, and the inevitable removal of the work by city sanitation workers responding to a perceived act of vandalism. In French and English.
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