About 10% of the millions of migrants who passed through Ellis Island, deemed unhealthy to enter into the United States, spent some time in the hospital.
For this project on show at Galerie Perrotin in Hong Kong , JR (b.1983, Paris) wheat-‐pasted archival photographs of the hospital’s patients and staff around the abandoned building, creating haunting scenes that bring the history of these rooms back to life.
JR creates “Pervasive Art” that spreads uninvited on the buildings of the slums around Paris, on the walls in the Middle-East, on the broken bridges in Africa or the favelas in Brazil. People who often live with the bare minimum discover something absolutely unnecessary. And they don’t just see it, they make it. Some elderly women become models for a day; some kids turn artists for a week. In that Art scene, there is no stage to separate the actors from the spectators.
After these local exhibitions, the images are transported to London, New York, Berlin or Amsterdam where people interpret them in the light of their own personal experience.
As he remains anonymous and doesn’t explain his huge full frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter.