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Zoo Project - Tribute

A tribute to the illustrator et street artist Zoo Project (edition, film and art installations) Spring 2018

About the project

In July 2013, Bilal Berreni, a young 23 years old street artist also known as Zoo Project, was killed in Detroit. Four years later, we have decided, his family, friends and collaborators, to shed light on his work again. In Spring 2018, a wide tribute will be organized around three axes :

  • Edition of 8 books
  • Distribution of the movie It's quite good being crazy
  • Exhibitions / Art installation


BILAL BERRENI (ZOO PROJECT) - BIOGRAPHY  //  Bilal drew all the time, everywhere, on everything. Quickly, his drawings overflowed his notebooks and the streets became his playground. At 18, he created the name « Zoo Project ». Within a year, he painted gigantic murals all over Paris : big expressive black lines shaping a white form.

The style is simultaneously raw and poetic, simple and evocative. Quotes sometimes feature on the murals. Never didactic or manichean, these quotes bring a bittersweet note, an absurd counterpoint. The approach is deeply politic without ever losing its poetic dimension.

Bilal quickly gained the recognition of the street artists community. The art galleries courted him but he was already far away. Gone in Tunisia during the revolution, he chose to paint the martyrs, then moved to a refugee camp at the libyan frontier. There, he represented the refugees portrayals on canvas.

All his works take the form of art installations made with and for the people he paints, and this time, national press got interested (Libération, Le Monde). But he was gone again, living alone, isolated, in a shed, deep in Lapland in the middle of winter, by -86° farenheit. His purpose was to write a graphic novel that will relate his experience...

And so on went his life : an abundance of ideas, projects, achievements, without ever being scared of pushing things further.

APPROACH  //  Zoo Project thought big. He worked in complete independence. But for him, the result was not more important than the respect of his values, his integrity and his freedom during the process of creation. Through this tribute, we wish to shed light not only on his work but on Zoo Project's personality as well. It won't be a commemoration but an appeal to creativity. We hope it will stimulate people to create, to set up projects guided with passion, like he did.

Because we share this way of thinking and we want to be in accordance with it, we will extend his approach to our tribute. Everything will be achieved independently. This project is being carried without any other consideration than being faithful to the immoderation of Zoo Project.

That is why your participation is needed today, so we can be up to the task and achieve this tribute as we dreamt it. 

Previsional budget (150 000 €)

  • Edition : 80 000 €
  • Exposition / Art Installation : 30 000 €
  • Self-distribution of the movie : 30 000 €
  • Communication : 10 000 €

Ci-dessous images et vidéos de plusieurs fresques et installations réalisées par Zoo Project.
Paris, Marseille, Tunis, camp Choucha, Cévennes, etc...

What are the funds for?

EDITION (8000 books offered to public libraries)  //  Bilal has never thought his life as a career, neither did he see his work as an artwork. He did not want it to last. His drawings, his paintings, existed in the moment, he never came back to them afterwards. Projects followed one another, without being necessarily linked, nor having immediate artistic consistancy.

That is why, instead of only one book featuring all of his work, we have decided to create a different book for each project, which we will put together in a single box. Leaving to each reader the task of inventing his own chronology or aesthetic connections throughout his discovery of Bilal’s work.

Most of the books will be centered on a project : Street art in Paris, the Tunisia experience, drawings made for the movie It's quite good being crazy, the graphic novel project in Lapland... And some will be dedicated to his continuous researches, with several sketch books.

Bilal’s approach could sometimes remind the way Art Brut artists work. He could not explain what he was doing : it was spontaneous and he felt necessary to do it. In this publishing part of the project, we want to make people feel this profusion of ideas, his creative vitality, without drowning the reader under an overwhelming flow of material.

A special care will be brought to the making of the different books. Some of them, such as the sketch books, will be facsimile, others will be editorial creations. Every box will contain 8 books printed up to 1000 copies.

Bilal has never sold his work, that’s why we choose in the course of this tribute not to publish this book but to distribute it for free to places where everyone can consult them :  public and schools libraries, documentation centers in France and abroad. As to make it available for all.

Budget - Edition du coffret regroupant 8 livres

- Archives et numérisation : scan A3, disques durs, boîtes et tubes de rangements
- Mise en page et conception de la maquette : imprimante A3, cartouches d'encre, papiers, materiel de reliure...
- Production du coffret et des 8 livres :

  • Impressions : offset, numériques, sérigraphies et tirages plans
  • Papiers et toiles pour couvertures et pages interieures
  • Reliures : cousues, dos carré collé, piqûre à cheval
  • Traitements des visuels en couverture : gaufrages, embossages, dorures, sérigraphies
  • Coffrets : découpes laser, assemblages et sérigraphies
  • Assemblage : mise en forme des boîtes et composition des coffrets
  • Distribution : envoi aux médiathèque et stock des ouvrages

Cost : 80 000 €

trailer :

It's quite good being crazy : directed by Antoine Page, drawn by Zoo Project (104 minutes)

NATIONAL RELEASE  //  When Antoine and Bilal throwed themselves into the adventure of the movie It's quite good being crazy, they decided to do it their own way. It was not a movie about Street Art, nor a travel diary. They wished to turn it into an artistic experience, a sort of experiential journey through Russia punctuated with Bilal's in situ interventions (murals, installations, portraits, etc.). They also integrated drawings directly into the narration of the movie.

The title of the movie, It's quite good being crazy comes from a quotation Bilal used in one of his murals. He took it from Gilles Deleuze's l'Abécédaire. The word « quite » introduces a smooth madness, accessible to all, that sounds like a call for freedom. This sentence, and more widely this movie, are a good reflection of Bilal’s spirit and commitment.

These images are the last ones taken of Bilal. We feel like we must keep on showing this movie, and this time, to give it a wider visibility but as always, in an independent process. Thus, we decided to distribute the movie ourselves through the association La Maison du Directeur. A team will be in charge of finding movie theatres which will accompany the movie through exhibitions, debates, the intervention of street artists, draftsmen, cartoonists or sketch artists. We will give to every movie theatre specific graphic elements (posters, banners). Several short films showing Bilal at work could serve as pre-roll. A version for a young audience will also allow an educational and creative work around the movie.


Budget - National release of the movie It's quite good being crazy

  • Press file
  • Website
  • Communcation (handmade graphic elements in stencils on hessian)
  • Realisation of a young audience version (Editing, Narrator's voice, postproduction)
  • Educational file of the young audience version
  • Technical part : DCP, hard drives
  • Debate tour
  • Cost : 30 000 €

EXHIBITION - ART INSTALLATION  //  In 2012, during the shooting of the movie It's quite good being crazy, Antoine Page, its director, and the artist Zoo Project made a one month stopover in Odessa to create an installation on the famous Potemkin stairs. It was thought to be held first in Odessa, then in Marseille (twin city of Odessa). Though Bilal's death stopped the project, today’s tribute push us to fulfill this aim during spring 2018.

For the Odessa installation, Bilal isolated several screenshots of the emblematic Eisenstein movie, Battleship Potemkin. He then made his own interpretation of the characters in stencils. The 10 characters have been reproduced on hessian to form a crowd of nearly 200 people, which were then suspended above the stairs.

Bilal did not consider this installation not so much as a salute to communism, than as an ode to the people and its capacity to fight against oppression. Furthermore, through the evocation of Eisenstein's masterpiece, he wished to reaffirm the power of artistic creation and its capacity to change the world.

We aim to adapt the «Potemkin» installation (realized in 2012 in Odessa) in different cities of France. In the spirit of the original installation it will be implented in public and popular places. Several places are actually in study.

Simulation of an adaptation of the "Potemkin" installation for the stairs of the St-Charles's train station in Marseille:

Budget - Installations

  • 400 stencils on hessian 3m x 1m
  • 1500 m of hessian
  • 300 liters of paint
  • 4 000 m of cables
  • Diverse material (max tensor, cable clamp, stretcher)
  • Cost : 30 000 €


COMMUNICATION  //  De nombreux éléments graphiques seront réalisés autour des différents évènements qui prendront place dans le cadre de cet d'hommage : pochoirs "Potemkine" sur toile de jute (1x3m), pochoirs "Potemkine" sur kraft (1x2m), affiche du film (120x160cm), affiche du film (40x60cm), étendard "film" (1x3m), étendard "hommage" (1x3m), affiche "reservoir" sérigraphiée, dossier de presse, photos d'exploitations, fac-similés de dessins de Zoo Project, etc ...

Une fois les évènements passés, tous ces éléments graphiques seront mis à disposition de tous ceux qui auront participé au financement. Nous vous tiendrons informé.

Budget - Communication

  • Site internet (maquette et développement)
  • Dossiers pour demande d'autorisations pour installations
  • Port-folio et reprographies
  • Affiches et étendards (papier kraft, toile de jute, peinture, sérigraphies)
  • Frais de déplacements, frais d'hébergements
  • Coût : 10 000 €


A NOTER // Sur les images suivantes et plus largement sur l'ensemble de cette page (ainsi que sur le site internet et les pages facebook, twitter et instagram relatives à ce projet) figurent des photographies de street-art que nous avons récoltées sur internet. Si vous êtes l'auteur de l'une d'entre elle, merci de nous contacter afin que l'on inscrive votre copyright. La récolte internet ayant été très vaste nous n'avons pu noter l'origine de chacune des photos. Cette démarche sera menée dans les mois qui viennent, en vue de l'édition du livre de street-art et de sa diffusion en médiathèque.

About the project owner

EQUIPE  //  Autour de ce vaste projet (édition, sortie en salle, exposition), porté par Antoine Page et Lilas Carpentier, s’est formé un groupe d’amis et d’admirateur du travail de Bilal Berreni (Zoo Project). Le projet bénéficie également du soutien de la famille Berreni ainsi que de la participation d'étudiants en cinéma de l'IECA. Tous bénévoles, nous avons décidé à travers cet hommage de faire perdurer son esprit de liberté, de créativité et d’indépendance.

Contact : [email protected]