In celebration of the 30th anniversary of IM Pei’s Louvre Pyramid in Paris, France, artist JR created a large-scale collaborative art piece, titled ‘The Secret of the Louvre”, that takes up the entirety of the Napoleon Court. The reason for the Pyramid’s creation was to ease down the congestion from museum’s thousands of daily visitors. The artwork was made with the assistance of 400 volunteers, resulting in the aforementioned optical illusion of Pei’s pyramid sinking into the ground.
The images, like life, are ephemeral. Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own. The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about the participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers. This project is also about presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence.
The process, which was a new one for JR, involved the volunteers cutting and pasting over 2000 strips of paper. The intention of this work is the be distressed and demolished via wear-and-tear by passersby traversing across the artwork. So it’s fine to totally mess up this work of art; no pressure…