On the occasion of Frieze Los Angeles Viewing Room, Nara Roesler is proud to showcase a two-person presentation with works by French artist JR and Brazilian artist Virginia de Medeiros. The selection foregrounds how, despite having widely different oeuvres, the artists have come to coincide in their mutual interest in bringing focus to marginalized communities through photography. Indeed both have recurrently delved into the universes of individuals who live in societal peripheries, are consistently undermined, overlooked and actively neglected, striving to bring visibility to their existence. The online booth will thus include works from different iconic series by JR, such as Women are Heroes, Unframed, and The Wrinkles of the City, whereby the artist worked to inspire viewers to treasure the women and the elderly, who act as pillars of their communities, undeterred by their disproportionate victimization and neglect. These works will be presented in conjunction with Virginia de Medeiros’ series of photographs Alma de bronze [Bronze soul], which portray the women who lead Frente de Luta por Moradia (Battle for Housing Movement) of São Paulo’s Movimento Sem Teto do Centro (MSTC, the Downtown Homeless People’s Movement), in hopes of delving into and capturing the strength of the women guiding their community through the struggle for survival. In using photographic portraiture, both JR and Virginia de Medeiros have worked to bring attention to the individual stories of those living within the margins, foregrounding the individuality of each of their subjects, and forcing the public to confront the difficulties, and importance, of their realities.
JR was born in 1983, in Paris, France. He currently lives and works in Paris, France and New York, USA. Recent solo exhibitions include: JR: Chronicles, at Saatchi Gallery, in London, UK (2021); JR: Chronicles, at Brooklyn Museum, in New York, USA (2019); Momentum. La Mécanique de l’Épreuve, at Maison Européenne de la Photographie, in Paris, France (2018); Chroniques de Clichy-Montfermeil, at Palais de Tokyo, in Paris, France (2017); Kikito, at the Mexico/USA border (2017); and JR at the Louvre, at Musée du Louvre, in Paris, France (2016), amongst others. He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, including: JR, Adrian Piper, Ray Johnson, at Museum Frieder Burda, in Berlin, Germany (2019); Refuge, at 21c Museum, in Bentonville, USA (2019); Post No Bills: Public Walls as Studio and Source, at Neuberger Museum of Art, in Purchase, USA (2016); and Tu dois changer ta vie, Tripostal, Lille, France (2015). His works are also part of important institutional collections, such as The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, USA; Château La Coste, Aix-en- Provence, France; Hong Kong Contemporary Art Foundation, Hong Kong; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA.
Virginia de Medeiros was born in 1973, in Feira de Santana, Brazil. She lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. Recent solo exhibitions include: Clamor, at Instituto Tomie Ohtake (ITO), in São Paulo, Brazil; 29th Programa de exposições, at Centro Cultural São Paulo (CCSP) (2019), in São Paulo, Brazil; Alma de bronze, at Ocupação Nove de Julho (2018), in São Paulo, Brazil; Studio Butterfly e outras fábulas, at Galeria Fayga Ostrower, Complexo Cultural Funarte (2018), in Brasília, Brazil. She has participated in biennials such as the 14th Jogja Biennale, Indonesia (2017); 27th and 31st Bienal de São Paulo, Brasil (2006 and 2014). Recent group shows include: Love and Ethnology, The Colonial Dialectic of Sensitivity (after Hubert Fichte), at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) (2019), in Berlin, Germany; Arte Democracia Utopia – Quem não luta tá morto, at Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) (2018), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Forms of Resistance, at Golden Thread Gallery (2017), in London, UK, and Histórias da sexualidade, at Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) (2017), in São Paulo, Brazil. Her works are also part of important institutional collections, such as Associação Cultural Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil; Instituto Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil; Instituto Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil; and Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.