Alfredo Jaar Art Basel Miami Beach 2015 exhibition resets the bar for interactive participation between artist and viewers. Alfredo Jaar uses his works of multidisciplinary artistic practices to actively commune with people. His powerful works explore unequal power relations and sociopolitical divisions, as well as issues of migration and discrimination to call attention to the realities in the world.
At 16, Chilean born artist, Alfredo Jaar, was thrust into a country that was deeply divided politically. President Allende was assassinated and replaced by Commander-in-Chief Augusto Pinochet. And with Pinochet came a whole new approach to politics and society, and he would eventually become, what many believe, one of the most gruesome dictators of all time.
Being born into this time would undoubtedly have an affect on the artist’s work. From genocide to AIDS, his work covers difficult subjects, reminding observers of the challenges we still face in the world today. Over the past 30 years, Jaar has pushed the boundaries of communication through art, and influenced how art is perceived.
One of his most iconic works, A Logo for America (1987), used an electronic billboard in New York’s Times Square to display the statement “This is not America” emblazoned across a map of the United States. Jaar draws attention to the fact that the name America is routinely applied erroneously to just one of the two American continents.
Through his work Jaar attempts to call attention to the difficult realities in the world, to which he feels people have become desensitized. Through installation, film, and photography he covers deep and complex subjects like genocide, famine, epidemics, political corruption, military conflicts, and the struggles developing nations face in a global setting. By focusing on issues relevant to Latin America, Africa, and Europe, his work aims to remind the audience of the injustice and evils that happen everyday and to prompt thinking for change – asserting that each one of us are capable of making great change.
Alfred Jaar, New York City