From 9 to 13 November Alfredo Jaar was invited to stay at UCSIA in Antwerp. The work of this world-famous artist stimulates thought on art and ethics, the power of the image and the current position of the artist.
Alfredo Jaar was born in Chili in 1956 and moved to New York in 1982. He studied architecture and film. His work is widely renowned as can be seen from his entry in the Encyclopæedia Britannica. Injustice is his central theme: poverty, exploitation, violence, war, genocide. Jaar divides his time between exhibitions, the tutoring of young artists, and interventions in the public sphere. In a workshop lasting a week the artist accompanied a group of doctoral students in the arts and philosophy of art. They finished a number of small projects that pitted them against the ethical and philosophical questions implicit in their study and work. Alfredo Jaar always prepares his public interventions, which are usually commissioned by ruling bodies like the Montreal municipal council or social organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, extremely carefully. They constitute artful interventions in a public space which confront a large public with a form of injustice such as racism or indifference to violence. During two meetings with the public, organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp MUKHA, he shed light on his philosophy of art. He managed to bring to light oppositions between the first and third world, as well as reveal desperate social and political transgressions with great profundity.
The project was an initiative of Dr. Jan Koenot sj and Arthur Cools, Professor of Philosophy of Culture at the University of Antwerp. UCSIA also benefited from the cooperation of the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten (KASK – Artesis School of Higher Education) and the ‘Sint-Lucas’ department at the Karel de Grote School of Higher Education.
This project resulted in the publication of the cahier (in Dutch) Zonder beeld (2010).
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