Alfredo Jaar

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Alfredo Jaar
Jaar in 2009
Born1956 (age 66–67)
Known forConceptual art, Installation art
Notable workThe Rwanda Project, The Skoghall Konsthall, Studies on Happiness[1]
AwardsGuggenheim Fellowship (1985), National Prize for Plastic Arts (Chile) (2013), Hasselblad Award (2020)

Alfredo Jaar (English: /ɑːr/;[2] Spanish: [ˈɟʝaɾ]; born 1956) is a Chilean-born artist, architect, photographer and filmmaker who lives in New York City. He is mostly known as an installation artist, often incorporating photography and covering socio-political issues and war—the best known perhaps being the 6-year-long The Rwanda Project about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He has also made numerous public intervention works, like The Skoghall Konsthall one-day paper museum in Sweden, an early electronic billboard intervention A Logo For America, and The Cloud, a performance project on both sides of the Mexico-USA border. He has been featured on Art:21.[3] He won the Hasselblad Award for 2020.

He is the father of musician and composer Nicolas Jaar.

Early life[edit]

Jaar was born in 1956 in Santiago de Chile. From age 5 to 16, he lived in Martinique before moving back to Chile.[4] In 1982, he moved permanently to New York City.[5]


One Million Finnish Passports, Kiasma Museum exhibition, 2014

Jaar art is usually politically motivated, with strategies of representation of real events, the faces of war or the globalized world, and sometimes with a certain level of viewer participation (in the case of many public interventions and performances).

"There's this huge gap between reality and its possible representations. And that gap is impossible to close. So as artists, we must try different strategies for representation. [...] [A] process of identification is fundamental to create empathy, to create solidarity, to create intellectual involvement."[6]


Women at Sharjah Biennale, 2019

His work has been shown extensively around the world, notably in the Biennales of Venice (1986, 2007), São Paulo (1987, 1989, 2010, 2021), Istanbul (1995), Kwangju (1995, 2000), Johannesburg (1997), Seville (2006), and the Whitney Biennial (2022).

His work, Park of the Laments was part of the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres which opened in 2010 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.[7] For the "Revolution vs Revolution" exhibition held at the Beirut Art Center, he produced a new version of his photographic project 1968.[8]

Important individual exhibitions include the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1992); Whitechapel Gallery, London (1992); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1992); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1994); Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (2005); Fundación Telefónica, Santiago (2006); Musée des Beaux Arts, Lausanne (2007); the South London Gallery in 2008.;[9][10] and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield UK (2018).[11]

Jaar represented Chile at the 2013 Venice Biennale.[12]

One of his two solo exhibitions was shown in Hong Kong as part of the "Hong Kong's Migrant Domestic Workers Project" at Para Site in the exhibition "Afterwork." Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese "boat people" sought refuge in British Hong Kong after the Vietnam War ended in the late 1970s and continued until the early 1990s.[13]

In 2022, Jaar presented a major video installation titled 06.01.2020 at the Whitney Biennial, New York, commenting on the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 in Washington DC.[14]

His work can found in the permanent collections of art museums around the Americas, Europe, and Asia, such as the Pérez Art Museum Miami,[15] Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among others.[16]



Alfredo's son Nicolas Jaar is a musician and composer.


  1. ^ Valencia, Nicolas (October 7, 2020). "Alfredo Jaar: Sadness as an Uninhabitable Space". ArchDaily.
  2. ^ "Alfredo Jaar. Lament of Images. 2002". Museum of Modern Art. 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  3. ^ "ART21 - PBS Programs - PBS". PBS.
  4. ^ "Alfredo Jaar in Conversation". Brooklyn Rail. April 2009.
  5. ^ "Life Magazine, April 19, 1968 | Smithsonian American Art Museum". Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  6. ^ "The Silence of Nduwayezu presentation". YouTube.
  7. ^ "Alfredo Jaar". Indianapolis Museum of Art.
  8. ^ "Revolution vs Revolution". Beirut Art Center. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  9. ^ "Alfredo Jaar".
  10. ^ "South London Gallery: Politics of the Image".
  11. ^ "Alfredo Jaar".
  12. ^ on, Enrico. "VernissageTV Art TV - Alfredo Jaar: Venezia, Venezia / Pavilion of Chile at Venice Biennale 2013".
  13. ^ "Examining 'race' in Asia's migrant domestic workers population: "Afterwork" at Para Site, Hong Kong –". Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  14. ^ Cascone, Sarah (2022-04-13). "'This Work Is About the Abuse of Power': Alfredo Jaar on His Immersive Black Lives Matter Protest Piece at the Whitney Biennial". Artnet News. Retrieved 2023-08-29.
  15. ^ "I Can't Go On. I'll Go On. • Pérez Art Museum Miami". Pérez Art Museum Miami. Retrieved 2023-08-29.
  16. ^ "Alfredo Jaar - Artists - Galerie Lelong & Co". Retrieved 2023-08-29.
  17. ^ "Alfredo Jaar". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  18. ^ "Alfredo Jaar, Premio Nacional de Artes: 'En Chile constaté la tiranía de las capitales'" [Alfredo Jaar, National Prize for Arts: 'In Chile, I Observed the Tyranny of the Capitals']. La Tercera (in Spanish). 17 July 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Alfredo Jaar Wins Eleventh Hiroshima Art Prize". Artforum. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  20. ^ "Alfredo Jaar Wins 2020 Hasselblad Prize for Photography". Artforum. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  21. ^ "Alfredo Jaar Konex Awards 2022". Konex Foundation. Retrieved 2022-09-15.

General references[edit]

  • Alfredo Jaar, Lorenzo Fusi, TAC Collection, Exòrma Ed., Italian/English, May 2012
  • Stefan Jonsson, 1989: Alfredo Jaar, They Loved It So Much, the Revolution, in A brief history of the masses: three revolutions, New York: Columbia University Press, 2008, pp. 119 ff.
  • Jaar, Alfredo, Mary J. Jacob, and Nancy Princenthal. Alfredo Jaar: The Fire This Time : Public Interventions 1979-2005. Milano: Charta, 2005. Print. Alfredo Jaar: the fire this time : public interventions 1979-2005
  • Jaar, Alfredo, and Willie A. Drake. Alfredo Jaar: Geography=war. Richmond, VA: Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1991. Print. Alfredo Jaar: geography=war
  • Jaar, Alfredo. Let There Be Light: The Rwanda Project 1994 – 1998, Barcelona: Actar, 1998. Print.
  • Solomon-Godeau, Abigail. ‘Lament of the Images: Alfredo Jaar and the Ethics of Representation’ in Aperture, Issue 181, pp 36–48

External links[edit]