Alfredo Jaar

Alfredo Jaar looks at the power of a single idea and the difficulty of arriving at the essence of what you want to say. His main approach to works is that of an architect, taking the space into account and combining the essence of the space with the essence of what he is trying to say. Jaar often works with engineers to carry out his works.
Sometimes, the most interesting thing is thinking and then letting another execute this thought. Works, for Jaar, often come from thoughts and responses to tragedy, in which he travels to the beginning to gain the full story. This is what sparked the 6 year-long project on Rwanda. It began as a five-line story on page seven. Jaar visited Rwanda because he wanted to respond to it, after understanding and grasping what was happening.
There is a large difficulty in displaying and portraying these works, without taking away the peoples’ dignity. Jaar believes that as artists, we must represent these tragic and difficult situations. There is a strong sense of solidarity, empathy and emotional involvement when the projects are about one person and one story, which is why hundreds of photographs were displayed of one boys eyes. This child was one who saw his parents murdered with machetes, and his response was to stay silent for four weeks. To show his work for the first time, Jaar found it was like starting from scratch, and found it very moving himself.
Jaar moved back to Chile after five years out of the country, and came back to a divided country. This led to obsessing over the communication and how to communicate a certain amount to the audience. Haiku has a capacity in a short amount of space to communicate a whole world The work must make sense.
As he was shy as a child, Jaars’ father took him to see a psychiatrist, whereupon he was bought a box of matches. This is where he found magic and the beauty of control over what is seen. This, matched with theatre where he directed and produced plays, allows Jaar to make people see things, but think they are magic, or magical. He incorporates the beauty in the work but also must confront the beauty and the horror. This is why he subjected flowers to contrasting forces of being destroyed and trying to survive.

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