JR plays with mesmerizing illusion at Château la Coste with the installation “Mind the Gap”.
The French artist JR has created this optical illusion for the art institution’s Renzo Piano Pavilion with trains moving on tracks. It’s technical and minimal. And similar to recent works, it continues to play with the unusual scaling of things, drawing our eyes around and around like model trains on tiny tracks.
JR uses an easily identifiable mechanical process to create a new illusion and a nod to previous projects. Those projects include his action on a train going through the slums of Kibera, Kenya in 2009 and his installation at the Panthéon (Paris, France) in 2014.
700 eye-and-teeth-wagons stare back at you and back at you on their circuits: locking vision, darting away, tricking the mind into finding something or someone familiar in a mosaic of fleeting faces. This effect perfectly hides their true identity as an anonymous group of autonomous trains.
“Mind the Gap” creates a sense of self-reflection: every train makes its way around circular tracks; some wagons have eyes, while others show teeth, noses, lips, and chins.
Photography by Stephane Aboudaram