JR MESSICO E KIKITO

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«Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them». The wisdom of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s words in his masterpiece “The little prince” finds daily demonstrations.
Seeing this gigantic child’s gaze and imagining him while he grabs the iron bars in the barrier would be to think: «What the hell are we doing?!». Kikito is just a little more than a year old, but his look, curious, must be a watch for the drift that day after day are taking by the decisions of the big ones: his hands resting on the wall that separates Mexico from the US is a symbol of genuine resistance.

Kikito appeared near Tecate, a town in Mexico, on the part of the wall that borders San Diego County. The artistic father is the French JR who, following his style of black-and-white photograph reproduction, has printed the image of this child who lives with his mother and grandparents, whom he himself has met at Tecate.
Although it is not a direct statement against the President of the United States, JR’s work follows Donald Trump’s decision to review the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”, the Obama program that protects the children of illegal immigrants grown in America. So-called “dreamers” who risk expulsion are about 800,000. And it’is in a dream that the French artist came to realize this work, the first in Mexico for him: «Some people dream about fantasy worlds, I dream about walls,” he said in a phone interview to New York Times – In one of these, there was a child looking over the wall at the border and, while with a friend I was visiting a house in Tecate, I saw the little one. He reminded me of the dream. I wonder, is this kid worrying about what will happen? What does he think? At one year old, you don’t see the frontier or which side is better»

The work, fully visible only from the American side until October 2th, is not the first made on the border between the United States and Mexico. In Tijuana, the Japanese collective Chim Pom has built a treehouse named “USA Visitors Center”, while American photographer, Richard Misrach, and Mexican composer, Guillermo Galindo, have joined forces to realize the “Border cantos” project, a realization of particular musical instruments (such as llantambores), starting from the items that migrants leave on the trip.

For JR, whose recent work has frequently dealt with immigrants and refugees, the Mexican installation is part of a continuing conversation: «People will always migrate: when we built walls, people built tunnels. When we closed places, they went by the water. The history of humanity is the story of people migrating. Of course, that has to be regulated, but for this little kid, there are no walls and borders».

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