Alfredo Jaar

neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK)

Alfredo Jaar, The Sound of Silence, 2006.

June 5, 2012

Alfredo Jaar
The way it is. An Aesthetics of Resistance

15 June–19 August 2012
Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK)
Oranienstraße 25, 10999 Berlin

15 June–17 September 2012
Berlinische Galerie – Landesmuseum für
Moderne Kunst,
Fotografie und Architektur
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128, 10969 Berlin

15 June–16 September 2012
Alte Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museumsinsel Berlin
Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin

The NGBK (New Society for Visual Arts) presents an exhibition by Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar (b. 1956, Santiago de Chile) simultaneously at three Berlin institutions. The monographic show offers a retrospective survey of an artistic production spanning close to four decades. It gives insights into the political topicality of the works by the two-time documenta participant and elucidates the critical methods of archiving, research, and intervention employed by the artist.

The artist, trained as architect and filmmaker, works with urban spaces and spaces of the museum. He dissects surfaces and structures, producing artistic statements related to spatiality and society. The main focus of the exhibition is the artist’s observation of the language and programme of the image, as well as its deconstruction, what the artist has called the politics of the image. Addressing a wide scope of concerns and issues, the exhibition will display key works that address the refusal of the image as well as the poetic mise-en-scene of its absence. Investigations of the visualisation of political and social events and the treatment of the resulting images demonstrate Alfredo Jaar’s critical approach to the media and media publicity.

The point of departure and reference point of Alfredo Jaar’s art is formed/informed by the careful methodology of the architect, a systematic and thorough analysis of the backgrounds and effects of concrete events and situations. His early works from the 1970s already deal with forms of resistance in public and semi-public spaces, thus criticising the conditions in Chile without becoming subjected to state censorship. After Jaar moved to New York City, which was followed by an international artistic career, he continued to apply the poetic methods developed and tested in Chile.

Alfredo Jaar – The way it is. An Aesthetics of Resistance—the title of the show on view in the spaces of NGBK, Berlinische Galerie, and Alte Nationalgalerie—refers to two projects that Alfredo Jaar realised in Berlin in the early 1990s. It makes reference to the artistic intervention, Eine Ästhetik zum Widerstand (“The Aethetics of Resistance”), that Jaar presented at the Pergamonmuseum in 1992/93 (organised by NGBK in cooperation with DAAD). It also alludes to another intervention titled The Way It Was that the artist created in 1991 in an empty ground-floor flat in Berlin (in the frame of the show Heimat, organised by Galerie Wewerka & Weiss). Both projects can be regarded as brilliant examples of Alfredo Jaar’s interest in contemporary history and the possibilities and limitations of image and text systems. In his practice, Jaar highlights the discrepancy between real and reflected space.

The show is accompanied by a series of lectures and talks at the NGBK and the Berlinische Galerie, as well as by guided tours at all venues. Alfredo Jaar’s films (Muxima [2005], 36 min. and The Ashes of Pasolini [2009], 38 min.) will be screened at the opening in the Berlinische Galerie and repeated several times during the course of the exhibition.

A bilingual catalogue (German / English) with text contributions by Lucy Lippard, Chantal Mouffe, Adriana Valdés, and Christian Höller will be published.
Publisher: NGBK, ISBN: 978-3-938515-47-1

An exhibition of the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) in cooperation with the Berlinische Galerie, the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin-Program. Realised with funding from the Capital Cultural Fund and the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin. Supported by the artEDU Stiftung, Zurich.

Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK)
Oranienstraße 25, 10999 Berlin
Hours: Daily 12–7pm; Thu–Sat, 12–8pm

Berlinische Galerie – Landesmuseum für 
Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128, 10969 Berlin
Hours: Wed–Mon, 10–6pm

Alte Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen 
zu Berlin, Museumsinsel Berlin
Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin
Hours: Tue–Sun, 10–6 pm; Thu, 10–10pm



Alfredo Jaar, presented by NGBK Berlin
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neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK)
June 5, 2012

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