Alfredo Jaar: The Rwanda Project, is a solo exhibition by Chilean-born, New York-based artist Alfredo Jaar at Zeitz MOCAA. Largely derived from investigations and photojournalistic field research in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, this exhibition seeks to investigate how one can engage with trauma as an outsider and also serves as a critique to the world’s indifference and a lack of global visibility to the atrocities in Rwanda at that time.
Images have the ability to evoke strong emotions from us. Photography as a medium creates a relationship between the photographer as an observer, the subject of the photograph and the viewer of the image that reminds us to consider the ways in which we see and perceive any given image. Alfredo Jaar’s multidisciplinary practice challenges the medium and the ways we consume images, news media and its facilitation of a voyeuristic gaze. Jaar asks the viewer to consider what is not immediately visible and the possible ways in which an image can live beyond its moment of creation and outside of its frame.
Presenting poignant images, video works and arresting installations, Jaar examines the politics of the image, offering a critique that exposes and frames the mechanics of the ways in which photographs circulate and are consumed. Reflecting on the historical nature of the photograph as representation of fact, these works challenge us as viewers with regards to the way that we absorb and understand the function of images. Utilizing various forms of presentation in the gallery, there is a slowing down of thought that attempts to highlight the complexity of memory and trauma.
Through this experience, Jaar reminds us of our connectedness, our shared experience of trauma and the room for mourning and healing that can occur in the post traumatic space. An affirmation of the power of the image as a means by which we can draw closer to one another through the aura left behind by what is seemingly absent and still able to remind us of what it is to be human.
It will be accompanied by a series of public programmes. The exhibition is made possible with support from Goodman Gallery.
Listen to our Art Audio Tour for this exhibition below: