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Tribeca Film Festival: Times Square Photobooth Just Part Of Artist's Bigger Picture

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TWC News: Times Square Photobooth Project
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A Times Square photography experiment is also the subject of a new documentary that just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

Say Cheese! Even though these days most people can do a photobooth style picture on their computer. Everyone from tourists to locals to the Naked Cowboy are lining up to get their picture taken at a special photobooth in Times Square. It's part of a global art project by French Artist JR.

"You know you have your minute of fame but it goes deeper than that. It’s like, 'What do I do without my image when I have access to such an enlargement? Where do I paste it?'" says JR.

As soon as the portraits are printed, subjects can either take them home or join the movement and paste them on the ground.

Originally JR traveled the globe taking people's portraits and pasting them in public places. But two years ago he decided he could expand the project if he allowed people to take their own portraits, either through the photobooths or by allowing folks to send him their digital images which he prints and sends back.

It becomes a tool for social justice and community building. It's chronicled in a new film that's just debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. It's called "Inside Out: The People's Art Project" Directed by Alastair Siddons.

Of all the locations, of course Times Square has special significance.

"We had the first sort of black and white photo booths back in 1926. So it’s really nice when we have a contemporary artist who is working on a project that sort of harkens back to the history and the importance of Times Square," says Times Square Alliance Director of Public Art Sherry Dobbin.

The photobooth is in Times Square through May 10. It's open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the portraits are free. The documentary will also be shown on HBO on May 20.

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