JR & Guillaume Cagniard: Rivages, 2014

Women Video Work(s)

Women Video Work(s)
Man on a bicycle
Date: 2014
Material/Technique: Video, color, stereo
Copyright: © 2014 JRSA SARL
Until today, the profession of harbor worker remains a guild craft, still influenced by patrilineal family tradition. The artist accompanied the workers at the sea harbor of Le Havre over the course of ten days, where he carried out one of his most widely-known poster interventions with them. The film portrays a male-dominated profession in which grandfather, father and son work together side by side. The, at times, solitary and hard activity is documented in impressive pictures. Only in the final moments of the film is a solution offered to the riddle surrounding the motif of the portrait-covered container: when the container ship leaves the harbor destined for Malaysia the eyes of possibly the only woman in Le Havre harbor are revealed. With this Action, JR also treats the subject of the absence of women in the working world – an important aspect which currently renegotiates the “law of equal participation of men and women in leadership positions” as well as the constitutional examination of care allowance.
JR (born in Paris, in 1983) became well-known through her portraits of youth from the Paris banlieues during the violent social upheavals in France in 2005. Initially, illegally glued to the exterior walls of houses, the portraits were then finally shown officially by the City of Paris on the exterior walls of l’ Hôtel de Ville. In his high-profile projects, the artist critically examines the subject of social conflict. Thus, the film “Women Are Heroes” shifts the role of women in social hotspots in developing and emerging countries to the foreground. JR was awarded the TED Prize, in 2011. Most recently, his works were exhibited in the Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, animated the exterior walls of the Paris Panthéon, and collaborated with the New York City Ballet.
Text and Biography: Sophie Leschik