Paris Opera: Artist JR Transforms the Facade of Palais Garnier

As part of the restoration work on the façade of the Palais Garnier (until the end of 2024), the Opéra National de Paris (ONP) has invited conceptual artist JR to dress the scaffolding covering the monument with two successive installations.

JR, one of the greatest street art artists, has chosen to transform the façade of the Palais Garnier – currently under construction – into an evocation of Plato’s Cave, a place of knowledge and transmission. The trompe-l’oeil entrance opens onto a perspective of rock and light, an installation that passers-by and locals in the Opéra district can admire until September 25.

Already creator of monumental works near the Louvre Museum, the Trocadéro esplanade, the facades of the Palais Farnese in Rome, and the Palais Strozzi in Florence, JR invites, according to the ONP statement, “to project oneself into this geological universe, a visual evocation of the origins of ballet and opera, when song and dance celebrated the divinities of archaic Greece in caves prepared for festivities”.

In addition to this installation, excerpts from lyrical and choreographic works related to the Paris Opera are projected on this façade for 4 evenings.

Thus, on September 9, excerpts from George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird in Maurice Béjart’s version were projected, and the next day, excerpts from Maurice Ravel’s Bolero, Jacques Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann, and Damien Jalet’s ballet Brise-Lames.

On Saturday, September 16, excerpts from Angelin Preljocaj’s Le Parc, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s Die Grosse Fuge, and Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata will be proposed, and on Sunday, September 17, images from Hofesh Shechter’s The Art Of Not Looking Back and an excerpt from Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes will be projected.

In November, there will be a change of scenery. JR’s installation on the façade of the building will be replaced by a gigantic stage curtain, the design of which has been entrusted to the Maisons d’art installed at 19M (a Parisian space that brings together craft companies), notably the embroiderer Atelier Montex.

Philippe Gault

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