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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

Alfredo Jaar: Pessimistic Optimist

Alfredo Jaar: Pessimistic Optimist

© Alfredo Jaar, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, NY

© Alfredo Jaar, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, NY

Our issue is about chaos. How does chaos influence your life and your work?

If we look at the state of the world, chaos, unfortunately, is our present condition.

I am reminded of a famous Chinese proverb: "Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a human in a chaotic period.” Well, as a human in this chaotic period, and as an artist for whom context is everything, chaos is then my context. I have no choice.

It seems your work is largely about human impact, how our actions influence the world around us and how we are not likely to stick around to watch the world burn after we toss the match. To me, you hold up the mirror. What impact would you like your work to have?

I hope to offer a little hope in a time of despair. But it is difficult. I remain a Gramscian: I am a pessimist with my intellect, but an optimist with my will.

© Alfredo Jaar, Eyes of Gutete Emerita Quadivision D

© Alfredo Jaar, Eyes of Gutete Emerita Quadivision D

Read the full interview from Chaos, page 280

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