Spare a thought for French artist JR today. As you chuckle away at your desk over the next brilliant April Fools’ prank being played out online, poor old JR’s likely sat at home weeping.
And for good reason: he and a team of 400 volunteers had spent days working on a massive paper collage to celebrate the 30th anniversary of I. M. Pei’s iconic glass pyramid landing on the grounds of the Louvre. Within hours, their work had been destroyed.
Dedicated to the memory of legendary French film director Agnes Varda, the work, which spanned around 183,00 sq feet, was, in its original and intended state at least, an optical illusion which made the aforementioned pyramid appear as if it had emerged point-first from the stoney depths of a giant quarry. Taking to Twitter, JR says the piece is about “presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence”.
It should be pointed out that he said this before the imaginary quarry became a very real mass of shredded paper and sun-dried glue. The gallery is keen to note that the piece was always designed to end up this way, but human beings, in their usual clod-hopping way, had just sped up the natural process.
This as may be, but it is likely that an institution as gloriously chic as the Louvre probably hadn’t bargained on their courtyard looking like Glastonbury quite so soon.