Another story at sea, but this one arrives in a state of becoming. A week ago, JR, a French photograffeur and TED Prize winner, installed a new work at the Le Havre port in France. And then it sailed away. The installation: a towering pair of eyes pasted across rows of shipping containers aboard a freighter bound for Malaysia. Follow the Magellan’s journey here or on JR’s Instagram .
Story on Sea builds on the global movement JR began in 2007, Women Are Heroes. To pay tribute to brave women who are essential yet vulnerable in their societies, he took photographs of their gazes and made them into massive murals. “They gave their trust and they asked for a single promise: Make my story travel with you,” JR wrote. So he did just that, flyposting their visages on walls around the world: on a brick wall in India, a train in Kenya, a favela in Brazil, a demolished house in Cambodia. He made them eye-catching eye witnesses (a watchfulness reminiscent of this Wendy Nichol drawstring bag).
In spite of its far-reaching scope, Women Are Heroes felt unresolved to the artist. “I wanted to finish Women Are Heroes with a ship leaving port,” he said, “with a huge image which could look microscopic after a few minutes, with the idea of these women who stay in their villages and face difficulties in the regions torn by wars and poverty facing the infinity of the ocean.” So now, four years on, he has finally given face to this finale: he and a crew spent 10 days pasting 2,600 strips of paper on containers filled with stuff bound for somewhere else, somewhere far away, stuff bound for a different life.
“I have no idea where and how people will see this artwork,” he wrote on July 5, “but I am sure that some women far away will feel something today. And in Le Havre, we are exhausted and proud.”