Alfredo Jaar is a Chilean born artist, arcitecth and filmmaker living in New York. His exhibition at the Berlinishe Museum during my sstay was a retrospective exhibition called: “The way it is – An aesthetics of resistance” focusing on his work for nearly four decades. It consisted of several parts and was on display on 3 different places: Neue Gesellshaft fur Bildende Kunst, Berlinische Galerie and Alte Nationalgalerie. Take a look at his website for information about his works and exebitions.
The first part I went to see displays his years long work on the Rwanda genocide between the hutu and tutsi. The hutu and tutsi genocide took place in Rawanda in 1994 where the estimated death tool range from 500 000-1 000 000. It was a result of the long tension between the groups. The Tutsi, which was a minority, have had the control of the country for centuries. But the 1959-62 rebellion caused the Hutu to get to power. The assassination of the Hutu general Juvénal Habyarimana resulted in a mass reaction in which the Hutu groups conducted mass killings of the Tutsi and also pro peace Hutu which was considered traitors.
The exhibition consisted of a dark room with several black boxes spread around. On top of them where a description about a picture. Instead of showing the picture he fills us with information about it and leaves us to imagen it instead. Otherwise we would just have been sick right away. You are tricked deeper and deeper into the conflict.
The second part that I went to see was also related to the genocide. It was a gigantic light table where he had several hundred pictures which all showed the same: the eyes of a woman victim. What these two exhibitions have in common is Alfredo Jaars desire to transform the language of photo journalism A powerful and dark exhibition.