Oranienstraße 25
10999 Berlin

Exhibition space:
Daily 12–19h
Wed-Fr until 20h

Alfredo Jaar

The way it is
An Aesthetics of Resistance

Alfredo Jaar exhibition view, NGBK, 2012, Foto: Uwe Boek
Alfredo Jaar exhibition view, NGBK, 2012, Foto: Uwe Boek

NGBK: 15 June – 19 August 2012
Berlinische Galerie: 15 Juni - 17 September 2012
Alte Nationalgalerie: 15 Juni - 16 September 2012

Opening: Thursday, 14 June, 19h

An exhibition of the NGBK [RealismusStudio]

The Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (New Society for Visual Arts) presents an exhibition by Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar (Santiago de Chile, *1956) simultaneously at three Berlin institutions. The monographic show offers a retrospective survey of an artistic production spanning close to four decades. It gives insights into the political topicality of the works by the two-time documenta participant and elucidates the critical methods of archiving, research and intervention employed by the artist.

The artist, trained as architect and filmmaker, works with urban spaces and spaces of the museum. He dissects surfaces and structures, producing artistic statements related to spatiality and society. The main focuses of the show is the artist’s observation of the language and programme of the image, as well as its deconstruction, what the artist has called the politics of the image. They address the artistic strategy of refusing images, present Jaar’s research work and display his considerations on the presentation and accessibility of various public spheres. Investigations of the visualisation of political and social events and the treatment of the resulting images demonstrate Alfredo Jaar’s critical approach to the media and media publicity.

The point of departure and reference point of Alfredo Jaar’s art is formed/informed by the careful methodology of the architect, a systematic and thorough analysis of the backgrounds and effects of concrete events and situations. His early works from the 1970s already deal with forms of resistance in public and semi-public spaces, thus criticising the conditions in Chile without becoming subjected to state censorship. After Jaar moved to New York City which was followed by an international artistic career, he continued to apply the poetic methods developed and tested in Chile.

Alfredo Jaar - The way it is. An Aesthetics of Resistance – the title of the show on view in the spaces of NGBK, Berlinische Galerie and Alte Nationalgalerie – refers to two projects that Alfredo Jaar realised in Berlin in the early 1990s. It makes reference to the artistic intervention “Eine Ästhetik zum Widerstand” (“The Aethetics of Resistance”) that Jaar presented at the Pergamonmuseum in 1992/93 (organised by NGBK in cooperation with DAAD). It also alludes to another intervention titled “The Way It Was” that the artist created in 1991 in an empty ground-floor flat in Berlin (in the frame of the show “Heimat”, organised by Galerie Wewerka & Weiss). Both projects can be regarded as brilliant examples of Alfredo Jaar’s interest in contemporary history and the possibilities and limitations of image and text systems. In his practice, Jaar highlights the discrepancy between real and reflected space.

The path that visitors now have to take between the three exhibition venues and the time that passes before the next encounter with Jaar’s works sharpen the art-goers’ ability to relate the artists pictorial solutions and themes to their own present. This allows experiencing in a reflected manner the seriousness, idiosyncrasy and determination of Alfredo Jaar’s works.

The show is accompanied by a series of lectures and talks, as well as by guided tours. For dates and details please click here [...]

A bilingual catalogue (German / English) with text contributions by Lucy Lippard, Chantal Mouffe, Adriana Valdés, and Christian Höller will be published.
Publisher: NGBK, ISBN: 978-3-938515-47-1
Order here [...]


Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK)
Oranienstraße 25
10999 Berlin
Daily 12-7 pm
Thu-Sat 12-8 pm   

Berlinische Galerie
Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128
10969 Berlin
Wed-Mon 10 am-6 pm
Tue closed   

Alte Nationalgalerie
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museumsinsel Berlin
Bodestraße 1-3
10178 Berlin
Tue-Sun 10 am-6 pm
Thu 10 am-10 pm

An exhibition of the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) in cooperation with the Berlinische Galerie, the Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin-Program. Realised with funding from the Capital Cultural Fund and the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin. Supported by the artEDU Stiftung, Zurich.

Project group RealismusStudio: Christin Lahr, Jan Ketz, Frank Wagner, Susanne Weiß, Edda Wilde
Project assistance:: Romina Farkas, Isabelle Meiffert und Michaela Richter