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Emi Eu: ‘We have to look at Southeast Asia as one market’ Ocula Conversation Emi Eu: ‘We have to look at Southeast Asia as one market’ Stephanie Bailey, Singapore

STPI's Emi Eu reflects on S.E.A. Focus, an STPI project platforming artists and galleries from Southeast Asia, in the wake of Art Stage's decline in 2019 and ahead of the launch of Singapore's new art fair, Art SG, in October 2020.

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New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata: Shows to See Ocula Report New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata: Shows to See Kanika Anand, New Delhi

With India Art Fair set to open amid nationwide protests, Kanika Anand introduces shows in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata that express shifting socio-political identities, modes of resistance, and explorations of place-making.

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Images from Abroad: Lada Nakonechna at Galerie EIGEN + ART Ocula Insight Images from Abroad: Lada Nakonechna at Galerie EIGEN + ART Phoebe Blatton, Berlin

Images from abroad , Lada Nakonechna's solo exhibition at Galerie EIGEN + ART in Berlin, considers the barriers that exist between depictions of conflict and their viewers.

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HomePage Artists

b. 1956, Chile

Alfredo Jaar Biography

In his prolific practice, artist and architect Alfredo Jaar engages with the power and politics of images. Using a range of methods including installation, photography, filmmaking, and community-based art to explore topics such as globalisation, fascism, immigration, and homelessness, the artist's work is always researched-based, created in reaction to a real event.

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Jaar will study an occurrence that has caught his interest and use art to add his own layer to the story: 'I have never created a single work that is just a pure product of my imagination or me as an artist in the studio. When I'm interested in a certain issue, I travel to a place and I investigate—I react', the artist said in his interview with Kate Brettkelly-Chalmers for Ocula Magazine. Within this method, he acknowledges the impossible-to-close gap between experience and record, or even ability to record. Previously, he has created art about events such as Rwanda's genocide and the Fukushima Nuclear disaster. In engaging with such calamities, he hopes to bear witness—to give visibility to those who are left invisible.

Jaar describes himself as an 'architect who makes art'. In his youth, he wanted to become an artist, but growing up in Chile in the 1970s this dream seemed unattainable. So he decided to study in the more stable field of architecture. Luckily for him, in architecture he found a passion equal to art: 'when I discovered architecture I was the happiest man on earth.' As an artist now, Jaar still considers space architecturally in all its realms—socially and politically as well as physically—and maintains an architect's eye for logic and detail.

Born into a Socialist Chilean family, the artist came of age in a Chile ruled by Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship, in which dissenters would disappear overnight. Later in his career, the artist would receive a commission to create a memorial to the victims of Pinochet's regime, entitled The Geometry of Conscience and completed in 2010. Only ten people are able to view this memorial at a time, each group descending a staircase of 33 steps into the pitch-black memorial space. After one minute of total darkness, the back wall of the space slowly lights up to reveal a grid of hundreds of white silhouettes. The walls on either side of the back wall are mirrored, creating the illusion that these silhouettes reach into infinity.

After the lights of the silhouettes in The Geometry of Conscience reach their brightest, they switch off, and the space is once more enveloped in darkness, leaving only a ghost-image of the figures behind. The silhouettes outline both deceased victims of Pinochet's regime and living Chileans. In doing so, the memorial acknowledges not only victims of the regime, but also the '17 million Chileans who are alive today and trying to retrace their common history', according to Jaar's studio manager, Capucine Gros.

Jaar arrived in New York in 1982, using his architecture career to finance his art practice. He is perhaps best known for a video work created after arriving in New York: his 1987 animation, A Logo for America. This artwork was placed on a billboard in Times Square and played amongst a rotation of advertisements every six minutes for a fortnight. In the animation, the viewer sees the map outline of the United States of America, the country's flag, and the texts 'THIS IS NOT AMERICA' and 'THIS IS NOT AMERICA'S FLAG'. The final image of the animation is the map outline of the continents of America (North and South), shown with the word 'AMERICA'. In A Logo for America, the artist draws attention to the way social preconceptions and priorities are reflected and misled in language. Projects such as this illustrate his interest in art's ability to make connections and reveal cracks in the system—to point out cultural distortions.

Alfredo Jaar became a Guggenheim Fellow in 1985, and a MacArthur Fellow in 2000.

Ocula | 2019

Alfredo Jaar Featured Artworks

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Gold in the Morning by Alfredo Jaar contemporary artwork
Alfredo JaarGold in the Morning, 1985/2018Suite of three lightboxes with colour transparencies
122.6 x 246 x 7.6 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York Enquire about this work
Gesamtkunstwerk by Alfredo Jaar contemporary artwork
Alfredo JaarGesamtkunstwerk, 1988/2018Lightbox with vinyl mounted on plexiglass
21.3 x 92.4 x 12.7 cm
SCAI The Bathhouse Enquire about this work
Embrace by Alfredo Jaar contemporary artwork
Alfredo JaarEmbrace, 1995Video
Goodman Gallery Enquire about this work
Six Seconds by Alfredo Jaar contemporary artwork
Alfredo JaarSix Seconds, 2000Lightbox with colour transparency
184.1 x 123.2 x 19 cm
Goodman Gallery Enquire about this work
The Silence of Nduwayezu by Alfredo Jaar contemporary artwork
Alfredo JaarThe Silence of Nduwayezu, 1997One million slides, light table, magnifiers, illuminated wall text
Goodman Gallery Enquire about this work
Rwanda 1994 by Alfredo Jaar contemporary artwork
Alfredo JaarRwanda 1994, 1994Ten postcards, Letraset, unique
40 x 106.7 cm (incl frame)
Goodman Gallery Enquire about this work

Alfredo Jaar Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Alfredo Jaar, 25 Years Later at Goodman Gallery, London
Closed
14 November 2019–11 January 2020 Alfredo Jaar 25 Years Later Goodman Gallery, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Alfredo Jaar, Lament of the Images at SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo
Closed
4 October–2 November 2019 Alfredo Jaar Lament of the Images SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, I’ve grown roses in this garden of mine at Goodman Gallery, London
Closed
3 October–2 November 2019 Group Exhibition I’ve grown roses in this garden of mine Goodman Gallery, London

Alfredo Jaar Represented By

Alfredo Jaar In Ocula Magazine

A blended mass: A report from Art Basel 2016 Ocula Report A blended mass: A report from Art Basel 2016 Stephanie Bailey, Basel

It was both a conservative and global year for the 47th Art Basel , as Scott Reyburn reported for The New York Times . Volatile markets—and politics—explained the wealth of historical pieces featured amongst more contemporary installations in Gianni Jetzer’s Unlimited section, this year with a record number of 88 works in...

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Alfredo Jaar Ocula Conversation Alfredo Jaar Kate Brettkelly-Chalmers, Auckland

Chilean-born artist, architect and filmmaker Alfredo Jaar is celebrated for his poetic yet unflinching address of global injustices, political prejudice and tragedy. The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, Jaar was recently in Auckland, New Zealand, for the major group exhibition Space to Dream: Recent Art From South America, ...

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Three exhibitions you must see in Auckland now Ocula Report Three exhibitions you must see in Auckland now Kate Brettkelly-Chalmers, Auckland

Following a three-year hiatus, the Auckland Art Fair is returning at the end of May with a suite of galleries from New Zealand, Australia, Latin America and the wider Pacific region. With a distinctly global outlook, the art fair is emphasising a fresher, more contemporary aspect in promoting emerging artists and galleries, inviting the...

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Alfredo Jaar In Related Press

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Alfredo Jaar on the Capacity of Culture Related Press Alfredo Jaar on the Capacity of Culture 19 February 2019, Hyperallergic

CAPE TOWN — Late last year, the artist Alfredo Jaar displayed a series of photographs and piercing neon works addressing the shared trauma and healing of Robben Island's political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, after Apartheid. It was in the midst of this exhibition, titled Men Who Cannot Cry , at Goodman Gallery in Cape Town, that I...

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The Striking Election-Season Billboards That Are Also Art Related Press The Striking Election-Season Billboards That Are Also Art 8 October 2018, Vanity Fair

The billboards going up around the country this week will have a familiar message for this midterm election: Vote. But featuring images of protests and reminders of the 2016 election, produced by some of the country's best-known artists, the billboards—one for each of the 50 states—will look nothing like your average political...

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Shining light: Alfredo Jaar brings politics and human rights to the table Related Press Shining light: Alfredo Jaar brings politics and human rights to the table 12 October 2017, Wallpaper*

Alfredo Jaar does not describe himself as an artist, nor as a sculptor or filmmaker. Nonetheless, the Chilean has produced artworks, installations, films and photographs that focus on politics and human rights for over three decades. 'I am an architect who makes art,' he explains. 'I studied architecture; I never received formal training in art. I...

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Two Projects Revisit Historical Images with a Calm and Critical Eye Related Press Two Projects Revisit Historical Images with a Calm and Critical Eye 10 November 2016, Hyperallergic

There are photographs that strike me as insurmountable. An image of presumable lovers, falling hand in hand from the World Trade Center as it burned. The image of a Vietnamese girl, screaming from the burning effects of napalm. The pain these photographs elicit is debilitating and the experience of seeing them is voyeuristic, not productive. The...

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Alfredo Jaar In Video & Audio

Alfredo Jaar: Images are Not Innocent Related Video & Audio Alfredo Jaar: Images are Not Innocent 7 February 2013, Louisiana Channel

Alfredo Jaar was interviewed by Christian Lund at Malmö Konsthall, February 2013.

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