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Artist Alfredo Jaar To Speak at SUNY New Paltz

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09/14/2001

NEW PALTZ -- Chilean-born artist Alfredo Jaar, winner of a year 2000 MacArthur "Genius Grant," is a guest of the Art Lecture Series at SUNY New Paltz on Wednesday, September 19, 2001. This presentation at SUNY New Paltz is the last time that Jaar will perform "The Rwanda Project 1994-1998" publicly and the event will be recorded by a documentary film crew. The event is presented in Lecture Center room 100 at 7:30 pm. The public is invited to attend and there is no charge.

Widely traveled, Jaar has over the last 15 years exhibited scores of installations that fuse research, analysis and observation with a sense of passion and humanity. From 1994 to 1998 he made a series of works focusing on Rwanda: on the disastrous massacres whose proportions defy imagining, on the role of the UN and the international community, on the nature of genocide and on the way the outside world becomes a passive observer of such events.

"The Rwanda Project 1994-1998" is a combination of installations, site-specific interventions and actions. From Africa he sent thousands of postcards announcing that (real) named individuals, Rwandans, were still alive. In a Swedish town he put up posters at bus stops, which starkly repeated the word "Rwanda." In museums and galleries he made a number of installations, such as outsized light-tables bearing vast piles of 35mm slides, each with the same image - a pair of African eyes - in an attempt to convey the innumerable deaths that had occurred.

Alfredo Jaar's work has been shown extensively around the world. He has participated in the Venice, Sao Paolo, Johannesburg, Sydney, Istanbul and Kwangju Bienniales, as well as Documenta in Kassel, Germany. Recent individual exhibitions include shows at the New Museum Contemporary Art in New York, The Whitechapel in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. A retrospective of "The Rwanda Project" started in Barcelona in the spring of 1998 and has been shown in Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States.

In addition to his lecture, Alfredo Jaar is a participant in the group exhibition In Cold Blood, appearing at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz. Featuring a broad range of artists, employing a diversity of styles, In Cold Blood is a project that complements the 2001 Arts Now Conference, "Sites of Conflict: Art in a Culture of Violence," held September 20-22. The exhibition explores the nature of violent imagery, seeking to define the value in explicit and implicit portrayals of violence and aggression.

Additional information on upcoming lectures and other arts events is available on the Web at www.newpaltz.edu/artsnews or by calling 845-257-3858. The Art Lecture Series is sponsored by the Student Art Alliance, a funded member of the Student Association at SUNY New Paltz. For more information on exhibitions and events at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, contact the museum at 845-257-3844 or online at www.newpaltz.edu/museum. The conference schedule for "Sites of Conflict: Art in a Culture of Violence" is available online at www.newpaltz.edu/arts_now.

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