Alfredo Jaar,
artist and architect

MacArthur Fellow Alfredo Jaar challenges commonly held opinions about the relationship between art and politics. He fuses the aesthetic and the ethical to focus on injustices around the world such as poverty, exploitation and genocide. Jaar was born in Santiago de Chile, where he studied architecture and film direction. Since 1982 he has lived and worked in New York City. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at museums throughout the world, including the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm. Jaar has also participated in the Venice, São Paulo, Johannesburg, Sydney, Istanbul and Kwangju Biennales, as well as Documenta in Kassel.

Difficult Images
Alfredo Jaar will present a selection of projects from the last 20 years, including film, performance, installations and public projects that fuse the aesthetic and the ethical to focus on injustices around the world such as poverty, exploitation and genocide. Jaar is conscious of how one-dimensional the mass media has made stories on global politics and how it has cheapened the power of the image. "I feel we have reached a point where we have too many images," he says. "Images inform us about the world, and by understanding images we form ideas about ourselves. If images lose their power to affect us, we have lost our humanity." For Jaar, one of the most difficult aspects of his art is finding a balance between sending a powerful political message and preaching.

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