Alfredo Jaar is one the most compelling and innovative voices of his generation. Since the 1980s, Jaar has staged politicized interventions in public spaces that invite the Western world to consider the grave consequences of its frequent indifference toward suffering in the developing world. Subjects for his installations and performances have included the international response to the Rwandan genocide and the fraught nature of the Mexico-US border, among others.
Jaar’s talk at The New School will address the artist’s many public interventions, including one of his most iconic artworks, “A Logo For America,” which the artist premiered in 1987 as part of Public Art Fund’s Messages to the Public series. This early digital artwork transposed a series of texts over images, among them the declaration “THIS IS NOT AMERICA’S FLAG” over an image of the United States’ flag on a billboard in the heart of Times Square. His criticism of American domination of South America stirred controversy, yet his activation of public space with this moving artwork was a powerful form of social action that grappled with the implication of boundaries. Accordingly, this topic and Jaar’s subsequent artwork are more relevant in today’s political climate than ever before.
The New School
The New School Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street
About the Artist
Alfredo Jaar (b. 1956, Santiago, Chile) lives and works in New York. His work has been shown extensively around the world including in the Biennales of Venice (1986, 2007, 2009, 2013) and Sao Paulo (1987, 1989, 2010), as well as at Documenta in Kassel (1987, 2002).
Important solo exhibitions include the New Museum, New York (1992); Whitechapel, London; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1992); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome (2005); and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1994). Major recent surveys of his work have taken place at Musée des Beaux Arts, Lausanne (2007); HangarBicocca, Milan (2008); Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlinische Galerie and Neue Gesellschaft fur bildende Kunst e.V., Berlin (2012); Rencontres d’Arles, Arles (2013) and Kiasma, Helsinki (2014).
Jaar has realized more than sixty public interventions around the world, and over fifty monographic publications have been published about his work. He became a Guggenheim Fellow in 1985 and a MacArthur Fellow in 2000.
His work can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art and Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, the Tate in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Centro Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlaebeck, M+ in Hong Kong and dozens of institutions and private collections worldwide.