Inside Out Project

Inside Out Project

by JR

The people’s art project
A global art project transforming messages of personal identity into works of art.

For the first time in its almost 75-year history, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, one of the oldest and largest theatre festivals in Europe, will not be able to take place in May/June 2020. Like so many other festivals, Ruhrfestspiele had to be cancelled due to the Corona Pandemic. Ruhrfestspiele is nevertheless setting an artistic example this year. For the duration of the cancelled festival period, it will present the participatory Inside Out Project Group Action. This type of project was initiated by the French photographer JR on of the world's most sought-after contemporary artists: large-format black-and-white photographs telling the stories of Ruhrfestspiele's artists and audiences will be attached unto the glass façade of the main venue (Ruhrfestspielhaus), visible from afar. In these times of crisis of social distancing, this project not only illustrates the fact that this year's Ruhrfestspiele will not be taking place, but it is further a reminder of the power of art and of the people for whom art is an essential part of life. The presentation of the portraits of both audience members and artists showcases the variety of people that would have come together at the festival, to experience theatre, dance, performance art, literature and contemporary circus. Our Inside Out Project Group Action will be presented in Recklinghausen in its most literal meaning: in times of isolation, it turns people’s lives from the inside of their homes to the outside and makes them visible on the façade of the Ruhrfestspielhaus. Several hundred portraits thus take the place of the cancelled festival and remind us of the power and significance of art as a life-sustaining space for reflection and play, of its necessity for a common self-image of a lively society.

For this participatory project, Ruhrfestspiele depends on participation. The festival now calls its visitors and artists to take their picture and digitally become a part of Ruhrfestspiele 2020 and further a part of one of the largest participatory art projects in the world. The Inside Out Project has already produced over 360,000 portraits in 142 different countries worldwide.

Nearing the start of the festival period, Ruhrfestspiele asks audiences and artists to take portrait photos from their isolation.

The submitted photos will be displayed as large-format photos on the glass façade of the Ruhrfestspielhaus and will be visible in the social media accounts of Ruhrfestspiele. The project will also be documented on www.insideoutproject.net and visible in a gallery on the Ruhrfestspiele homepage.

The portraits do not have to be created in any professional quality as long as they are 1 MB in size at 100 dpi and the face of the person portrayed is visible against a neutral background. Pets, back of the head, groups of people and objects (e.g. sunglasses etc.) are not allowed.

Tip: The best portraits are expressive, emotional and captivating. They are more than pictures of smiling faces, they present the personality and the story behind the individual face.

Or send us an e-mail including a declaration of consent:

To be able to use the portraits for the project, all participants must sign a declaration of consent and send it to the Ruhrfestspiele together with the portrait. The declaration of consent can be downloaded below. Those interested should send an e-mail with their portrait and the declaration of consent to

The deadline for entries is May, 8th 2020, and from week 21 the portraits will be hung on the glass façade of the Ruhrfestspielhaus.

JR Examples that we love
These portraits are perfect!
JR NOT follow the guidelines
Please not like this!
Inside Out Project Maracaibo Venezuela Foto Ernesto Perez 001
Photo: Ernesto Perez
Inside Out Project Haryana India Foto Swappa Maini 028
Photo: Swappa Maini

Declaration of consent for dispatch by e-mail

Inside Out Project Formular Nutzungsbedingungen engl
Inside Out Project Formular Nutzungsbedingungen engl