Picnic at the Border: Artist JR Hosts Bi-National Meal at a Giant Table

At one small point on the United States-Mexico border, where two towns named Tecate are separated by a fence, residents of both countries sat down to the same picnic at a gigantic table printed with ‘The Eyes of the Dreamer.’ This new event, held on October 8th, comes just weeks after the artist rolled out a massive 65-foot-tall photographic installation of a toddler peering over the fence from the Mexico side.

“GIANT PICNIC at the border today in Tecate … people eating the same food, sharing the same water, enjoying the same music (half of the band on each side) around the eye of a dreamer … we forgot the wall for a minute …” says JR in a Facebook post.

Picnic-goers sat down to the same meal at one big table for the single-day installation, which was apparently pulled off with the help of a sympathetic border guard. A band played, with some of its members sitting on the U.S. side and others on the Mexico side.

JR is well known for these black-and-white photographic installations, which are put up all over the world, often without official permission. The subjects of his portraits are usually everyday people who live in the area. The TED Prize winner says he aims to use art to “turn the world inside out.”