Internationally acclaimed artist Alfredo Jaar will present his latest work – a three-channel video installation memorializing the 1994 mass killing of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and pro-peace Hutus in Rwanda – at the University of Connecticut’s Contemporary Art Galleries March 24.
Born in Santiago, Chile and now a resident of New York City, Jaar has exhibited scores of installations around the world. His provocative art installations and public interventions focus on human rights and contemporary socio-economic issues, combining elements of photography, architecture, and filmmaking. Since the 1980’s, Jaar, through his art, has been revealing the public’s desensitization to images of events such as genocides, epidemics, and famines.
Jaar’s latest work, specially commissioned for the Contemporary Art Galleries, is titled We Wish to Inform You That We Didn’t Know. Jaar is the 2010 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Artist-in-Residence at UConn and, in that role, has been mentoring UConn Fine Arts students while developing the exhibition.
The Jaar exhibition will be available for viewing in the University’s galleries at 830 Bolton Road on the Storrs campus from March 24 to April 22. A special reception with Jaar is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the galleries on March 24.
The UConn exhibition is a culmination of Jaar’s previous work involving Rwanda. Jaar’s The Rwanda Project 1994-2000 was created in response to what he believed was the world’s criminal indifference in the face of the genocide in Rwanda. The project lasted six years and included 25 different works that Jaar considers “essays of representation.” In 2008, Jaar returned to Rwanda to create a monument to the victims of the genocide. The UConn exhibition is a presentation of some of the new visual material he gathered during his return visit, and represents both closure for the artist and a continued expression of his outrage that the brutal genocide was not prevented.
Jaar will talk about his UConn exhibition in a keynote lecture scheduled for 4 p.m. on March 24 in the Konover Auditorium at the Dodd Center in Storrs. Jaar also will participate in a roundtable discussion about “The Arts and Human Rights: Perspectives from Latin America” with Spanish artist/photographer Marcelo Brodsky in the UConn Student Union Theater on March 24, from 10 a.m. to noon. The discussion is sponsored by The Dodd Center’s Human Rights Initiative, the Human Rights Institute, the Foundations of Humanitarianism Program, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UConn, and Contemporary Art Galleries.
Jaar has received many awards, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award; a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; and Spain’s Premio Extremadura a la Creación. His art has been featured in the biennials of Venice, São Paolo, Istanbul Kwangju, Johannesburg, and Seville. It has also been showcased at Documenta in Kassel. Jaar’s politically motivated sculptures, installations, and public interventions have been presented worldwide, and he is represented in collections at the Art Institute of Chicago, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Israel Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, and The Museum of Modern Art.
For gallery hours and additional information, please go to the Contemporary Art Galleries’ website.
Editor’s note: High-resolution images of Jaar’s work are available upon request.
For more information:
Barry Rosenberg, 860-486-1511