October 10, 2017 - Yorkshire Sculpture Park - Alfredo Jaar: The Garden of Good and Evil
October 10, 2017

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Alfredo Jaar, A Hundred Times Nguyen (detail), 1994.

Alfredo Jaar
The Garden of Good and Evil
October 14, 2017–April 8, 2018

Yorkshire Sculpture Park
West Bretton
Wakefield WF4 4JX

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Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) presents a major solo exhibition by pioneering Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most politically engaging yet poetic artists, Jaar addresses humanitarian trauma and the politics of image-making, creating visually and emotionally stunning works that have an exceptional aesthetic. Trained as a magician and subsequently as an architect, Jaar often uses constructed spaces and light to navigate what is seen and what is not. At YSP seminal installations will transform the Underground Gallery and its open-air concourse.

The exhibition includes a major new commission, The Garden of Good and Evil (2017), presented in the open air and visible through the glass façade of the gallery. On entering what appears to be a beautiful grove of trees, visitors experience elegantly fabricated steel cells, which reference "black sites," the secret detention facilities operated by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) around the world. Carefully chosen to enhance YSP’s landscape, many of the trees will be planted into the Park as a nurturing legacy of the project once the exhibition closes. Kindly donated by the artist and a/political, this is a work that Jaar has wanted to realise for some years and that YSP is uniquely placed to create. Following the exhibition The Garden of Good and Evil will find a permanent home in the YSP collection.

Powerful mixed media installations transform the award-winning Underground Gallery, taking visitors on a personal and sensory journey. The first space features The Sound of Silence (2005), a work that exposes the history of a devastating image of a young victim of the 1993 Sudanese famine, taken by photographer Kevin Carter. The image drew global attention and approbation, and led to aid being directed to the famine, but also to Carter’s suicide. With characteristic subtlety, Jaar frames both the images and stories with delicacy and empathy. At a time when we are swamped by news and pictures, Jaar’s work examines image fatigue, image ownership and copyright; he highlights the control of 100 million historic photographs by the largest photo agency of the world, and challenges the candour of information sources.
In the second space, contemplating the problem of compassion fatigue, A Hundred Times Nguyen (1994) comprises 100 images of a little girl the artist met while visiting "refugee detention centres" in Hong Kong in 1991. One of the many forgotten Vietnamese boat people held in shocking conditions, Nguyen Thi Thuy grew attached to Jaar who photographed her five times at five-second intervals. Standing for so many similarly displaced migrants around the world, the child’s bright face demands that we remember her plight and draws our compassion, whilst offering hope.
For over 40 years Jaar’s work has received critical acclaim at prestigious museums worldwide and has been acquired by collections including Tate, M+ Hong Kong, Guggenheim, MoMA New York, LACMA Los Angeles, and the Pompidou, Paris. He was awarded a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1985 and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000.

About Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2017. Founded in 1977 by Executive Director Peter Murray, YSP is situated in the 500-acre, 18th century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire. It was the first sculpture park in the United Kingdom and is the largest of its kind in Europe, providing the only place in Europe to see Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man in its entirety alongside a significant collection of sculpture, including bronzes by Henry Moore, and site-specific works by Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and James Turrell. 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park
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The Garden of Good and Evil
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