Alfredo Jaar (b. 1956 in Chile), is an artist, architect and filmmaker. Challenging commonly held preconceptions of the relationship between art and politics. He frequently works with quasi-documentary images, which he presents in light boxes, addressing the discrepancy between the First and Third Worlds and its presentation in the media. The architecture and spatial setting are also of great importance to this artist.
The lettering in his work, Kultur = Kapital (Culture = Capital), installed at Marktplatz in Oerlikon, Zurich, makes reference to Joseph Beuys’s claim “kunst = kapital” (art = capital). Throughout his oeuvre, Beuys repeatedly engaged with the issue of how art co-shaped society and politics, and he was of the opinion that the creativity of each individual person represented the capital (and with it also the potential) of a society. Jaar’s neon work broadens the citation to include the concept of culture. Within a social model, capital supports culture, while, vice versa, culture should be an essential part of our social capital. Jaar would like to point out that culture represents a society’s true capital.
Courtesy of the artists und Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin