Tehachapi Rollerblind

Client: Galerie Perrotin
Video: Galerie Perrotin

In October 2019, French artist JR created a one-of-a-kind art activation within the walls of California Correctional Institution: Tehachapi in Southern California – a maximum security 4 facility. JR and his team captured the portraits and stories of former and currently incarcerated citizens that are keenly focused on rehabilitation, as well as some of the prison staff, and pasted them with their help, as a large team, on the recreation space within CCI. The wheatpasting of 338 strips of paper was completed in a few hours thanks to the help of all the participants in the project, and more incarcerated men and staff, working together with JR’s team. The final installation shot was done from a birds-eye view with a drone.


  • Custom mechanism with sensors for continuous rolling of 12m graphic


  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminium
  • 3D prints


  • Water jet cutting
  • welding and brushing
  • laser engraving
  • programming
  • 3D printing
  • assembly
  • calibration

“JR and his team photographed the men, on by one, from above, and they were given a chance to tell their story in front of a camera. No specific questions were asked; they had the freedom to express themselves candidly. JR also photographed former prisoners and prison staff, collecting a total of forty-eight portraits and stories from the prison system.” By JR-ART.NET