Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Alfredo Jaar, Let There Be Light

Browsing through some of our times most promising contemporary artist, i was able to find one that interest me the most.The artist I found most interesting is Alfredo Jaar. Jaar was born in Santiago, Chile in 1956. He attended Instituto Chileno until 1981 and Universidad de Chile until 1981. After graduating Jaar emigrated from Chile to pursue work in New York where he currently resides. Through installations, photographs, film, and community-based projects Jaar tackles issues such as genocide, epidemics, and famines. For his work Jaar has received various awards; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foun. Award, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foun. Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

One of Jaar's work that interested me the most is one made in 1998, " Let There be Light." A photograph placed in front of a light box so that the light shines from behind the photograph. In the photo are two young boys of African descent hugging each other, in the distance you see a community of people but you can not distinguish their faces. This photograph is realistic so materials that may have been used are minimal; a light box, camera and film. The phrase let there be light is often used for its metaphorical meaning of dispelling ignorance and comes from the third verse of Genesis in the King James Bible. This artwork was made to bring attention to the ongoing holocaust in Rwanda. This art has current concerns because in Rwanda people are still being divided by a modern day holocaust.

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