JR : The Chronicles of San Francisco
The Chronicles of San Francisco, JR’s first major digital installation in California is on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) until April 27th, 2020. On May 23rd, 2019, during the opening night, JR introduced the piece to thousands of people gathered in the museum’s free to visit Roberts Family Gallery. Many of the 1,200 individuals captured by the artist in the streets of San Francisco in early 2018, met for the first time that night and shared their experience with the artist.
To create this monumental scrolling composition, JR worked with each individual as they decided how they wanted to be represented. Every person is presented at the same size, captured with the same light. The San Franciscans in the mural are the people who were passing by at that location, at that moment. Swimmers mix with members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, homeless men and women mix with an obstetrician reenacting the birth of a baby…
After being filmed and photographed, people’s voices were recorded, giving everyone the opportunity to say what they wished. The collection of images and recordings can be discovered in a book entitled JR: The Chronicles of San Francisco. Page by page, the book comes to life thanks to a mobile app, JR:murals, developed to allow readers to read and hear the story of everyone through an augmented reality experience.
Sections of the still version of The Chronicles of San Francisco are also on view as a vinyl installation on the facade of the museum and as wheatpaste murals around the city. The streets are suddenly speaking to passers-by, who can hear the recording of anyone on the wall by using the mobile app.