THE POLITICS OF IMAGES
Alfredo Jaar seems like a made-to-measure guest for Arles. A large part of his work consists of questioning photography when it plays the role of a supposedly objective journalistic witness.Through installations, screenings and the accumulation of documents which converge towards a message that the visitor progressively, often physically discovers, Alfredo Jaar overturns our remote certainties about the truth of the image, the good intentions of the press and the West’s take on events.His obsessions are those of a Chilean, strongly imbued with French culture, whose family was driven into exile by Chile’s dictatorship, and who now looks at the world from New York.From the 1980s on, he has consciously wanted to be the artist that would bring the convulsions of the Southern Hemisphere back into contempo- rary art, which, in the 1980s, was more preoccupied with its self-narrative, and less and less inclined towards the international solidarity that motivated it after the Second World War.An architect, he masters space and leads visitors into brief performances in which they become actors. Jaar often catches us in the act of perceiving images in a way that is too superficial.For the Rencontres, we wanted to bring together his most important pieces interacting with photography. They evoke the Chilean dictatorship, the American media’s relationship with Africa, the Rwandan genocide, the hunt for Ben Laden and the heroines of Human Rights...An ensemble on this scale of Alfredo Jaar’s works is a premiere in France and takes up the entire Église des Frères-Prêcheurs.
Exhibition coproduced by the Rencontres d’Arles and Marseilles-Provence 2013.
Exhibition organised in collaboration with the Studio Alfredo Jaar, the galleries Kamel Mennour, Paris, Oliva Arauna, Madrid, Thomas Schulte, Berlin and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark.
Exhibition venue: Église des Frères-Prêcheurs.