For the past two weeks, JR has been sharing photos on Instagram of a project that he was working on in Port of Le Havre, France. The artist, his crew, and a few of his ballerina friends worked on a 363-meter-long container ship named the CMA CGM Magellan, covering over 150 of the containers with pasted images that form the eye of a women from his 2007 Women Are Heroes series.
In the caption of one of the images, JR explains the project: "In 2007, I started Women Are Heroes. To pay tribute to those who play an essential role in society, but who are the primary victims of war, crime, rape or political and religious fanaticism, I pasted portraits and eyes of women on a train in Kenya, a Favela in Brazil, a demolished house in Cambodia. They gave their trust and they asked for a single promise “make my story travel with you”. I did it: on the bridges of Paris and the walls of Phnom penh, the building of New York, etc. I wanted to finish Women Are Heroes with a ship leaving a port, with a huge image which would 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."
He continues by stating that, "during the last 10 days, we pasted 2600 strips of paper on the containers with the dockers of the port … And this morning we saw the ship leaving the port. I have no idea of what is in the other containers on the boat: stuff from people leaving a country to build a different life in another region, goods that will be transformed, worn, eaten in a different country. I have no idea where and how people will see this artwork but I am sure that some women far away will feel something today …. And in Le Havre, we are exhausted and proud.”
To see more of the process, check out JR's Instagram page here.