(b. 1956) Born in Chile, lives and works in New York.
Alfredo Jaar is an artist, architect, and filmmaker who lives and works in New York. Alfredo Jaar is internationally recognized for his installations and public interventions around the world. At the heart of Jaar’s practice is the charged relationship between ethics and aesthetics. He has examined with an acute insight the strategies of representation, from the media imagery of racism, war and humanitarian crises to the collective memory scapes left behind by dictatorships. His seminal six-year long Rwanda Project focused on the 1994 Rwandan genocide creating more than twenty five works on the subject. Jaar is also known for his extensive work related to HIV in Africa (projectemergencia.net).
Jaar has realized more than fifty public interventions around the world. In these site-specific projects, the artist has often strived to make tangible the repressed and the invisible that haunt the sites and communities in question: At the Mexican-US border this involved an event with orchestras that took place simultaneously on both sides of the border. In the city of Montreal a central monument was turned into a lighthouse that flashed red at each entry into three nearby homeless centres. In the town of Skoghall in Sweden Jaar gave the local community its first art space in the form of a paper Kunsthalle that he burnt to the ground 24 hours after the opening. In Helsinki he printed one million blank Finnish passports for those immigrants yet to be allowed entry into the country in 1995. Jaar’s practice is powered by a persistent belief in the ability of the arts to have an active role in social debate and change.
Alfredo Jaar’s work has been shown extensively around the world. He has participated in ARS, Helsinki (2011, 1995), the Biennales of Liverpool (2010), Sao Paulo (2010, 1989, 1987), Venice (2007, 1986), Gwangju (2000, 1995), Seville (2006), Johannesburg (1997), Istanbul (1995), Sydney (1990), and Documenta in Kassel (2002, 1987). Numerous notable solo exhibitions include Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2008), Musée des Beaux Arts, Lausanne (2007), Fundación Telefónica, Santiago (2006), Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome (2005), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1994), New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1992), Whitechapel, London (1992), and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1992).