Sean Hart (born in 1981, lives and works in Paris) has been curious about the visual aspects of urban space since he was 16 years old, when he began to photograph, in his native city of Saint-Etienne, the graffiti that blossomed in the squats, industrial wastelands or vacant lots of the city. This interest in the urban fabric will never abandon him, despite very diverse projects carried out in France and abroad after his studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg.
It is thus noticeable that, whatever the work in which he is engaged, Sean Hart has rarely confined himself to institutional or museum practice, preferring instead to work in companies focusing on links with diverse communities (children, music groups, theatre groups, etc.), on publishing or on the implementation of projects related to the urban environment (in particular, he has collaborated in the setting up of several exhibitions by JR, the French photographer known for his gigantic black and white photographs displayed in metropolises).
Very effective in their rudimentary graphics (large white capital letters printed on a black background); challenging in their political and poetic content (among the many sentences of the project, let us quote for example “Security is a danger”, “Defrauding boredom”, “Life is flexible”, “Money is poor”, … each of which acts as an existential electric shock for the readers surprised by this kind of message in an environment rather inhabited by the push to consumption); ambitious in size, shape, placement and number, Sean Hart’s sentences are like stings.
Hart says he wants to “animate the inanimate” or “build stories from the insignificant”. Indeed, when we learn about the project “Don’t throw on the public highway”, we are led to question ourselves intimately about the place we occupy in the “system” and our (in)capacity to keep alive the social bond, the dialogue with others, the rupture of anonymity. The shaking caused by the artist’s interpellations is an invitation to go outside the framework that we automatically assign ourselves and/or that the authorities and fear assign to us in order to rediscover a form of minimal anarchist fibre that Hart seems convinced to find in each of us, just by opting for simple but already courageous acts: “Raise your eyelids”, for example (but many others invented by Hart can be put into practice).