Alfredo Jaar will represent Chile with a major new site-specific installation at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.
Alfredo Jaar (b.1956; Santiago, Chile) is an artist, architect, and filmmaker who lives and works in New York. With an expansive commitment to art in diverse and distinctive cultural, political, and public contexts, his work has been commissioned, exhibited, and installed throughout the world, including Biennales in Venice (1987, 2002), Sao Paulo (1987, 1989, 2010), and Documenta in Kassel (1987, 2002). Solo exhibitions include the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Whitechapel, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Most recently, a major retrospective of the artist’s work took place at three major cultural institutions in Berlin: Berlinische Galerie, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, and Alte Nationalgalerie.
His most recent public projects include The Geometry of Conscience, a memorial next to the new Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago, and the Park of the Laments in a new contemplative space adjacent to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. His many awards and recognitions include a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985 and, in 2000 he was a recipient of the prestigious five-year MacArthur Fellowship. In 2006, he received Spain’s Premio Extremadura a la Creación.
Alfredo Jaar will work with curator Madeleine Grynsztejn, the Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, where she is advancing an ambitiously engaging platform for producing new ideas and insights on the creative process. Her connection to Jaar spans two decades. In 1990, she organized the artist’s first major international exhibition and publication for La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Born in Lima, Peru, Grynsztejn grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and London.
Chile’s participation at the 55th International Art Exhibition in Venice is commissioned by the National Council of Culture and the Arts (CNCA) and organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its Cultural Affairs Bureau (DIRAC), the Pro Chile Foundation and the Image of Chile Foundation (Fundación Imagen de Chile).
The National Council of Culture and the Arts, together with generous private donors, is funding Jaar’s exhibition, as well as a conceptually dynamic publication. Catalogue editor Adriana Valdés lives and works in Santiago. She is a writer, editor, and scholar who has published important books on art, literature, cultural projects, and contemporary artists in Chile. She has worked with Jaar since 1981 and in 2006 organized and edited Jaar/SCL/2006 to accompany a major exhibition of works by the artist on his return to Chile after 25 years.
The catalogue will include more than fifteen essays by prominent thinkers—critics, writers, theorists—from all over the world who consider Jaar’s contextual installation within the historical trajectory of the Venice Biennale and amidst volatile contemporary global, geographic, political, and cultural transformations. The book will be published by Actar, Barcelona. Producing and distributing leading publications on contemporary art, architecture, and cultural issues since 1994, Actar’s contemporary releases on leading intellectuals and ideas on art and architecture span diverse disciplines and focus on the discursive and collaborative scope of cultural and material practices in contemporary everyday life.
Curator: Madeleine Grynsztejn