For His Latest Spectacle, JR Will Unveil a Massive Installation at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate

JR took on the US-Mexico border wall, and now he is celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Street artist JR. PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images.

The artist JR has begun work on a massive installation at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall. The historic monument, which became a symbol of German unity and the end of the Cold War, is already under scaffolding.

On October 3, some 28 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the French-born artist will unveil a huge collage-based work featuring images from November 10, 1989 when thousands of Berliners from East and West climbed on top of the 80-foot high monument. It was the day after the border was opened up, reuniting the divided city and country. Young people rushed to the gate and scaled the historic structure in an expression of unity and freedom.

Construction has already begun at the Brandenburg Gate for the 82-foot installation. Two larger-than-life border guards are already installed and they will overlook the scene as the background image represented huge crowds standing in front and on top of the monument. JR’s transformative and striking installation will remain in place for three days, and serve as the backdrop for celebrations.

Borderlands have become something of a focus point for his large black-and-white photo murals, which frequently consider social issues and migration, so Berlin is a good for this upcoming project. Recently, the artist had installed a large motif of a child peeking over the border fence at the US-Mexico border. Between 2008 and 2010, JR depicted large-scale images of women and children on top of their homes in the slums of Brazil in order to bring visibility to their stories.

JR’s newest installation has begun at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. Photo: artnet News

JR is no stranger to historic monuments. In 2016, he took on the Louvre’s glass pyramid. By covering it in image of the building behind it so that, when viewed from the right angle, the pyramid completely disappeared. His ongoing series, Unframed, uses archive footage and imagery to tells story, which are increasingly political in nature.

JR was also nominated for an Oscar this year for his documentary film Faces Places, which he co-directed with filmmaker Agnes Varda.


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