Alfredo Jaar at Goodman Gallery

'If It Concerns Us, It Concerns You' by Alfredo Jaar at Goodman Gallery in London, is an exhibition that spans the artist's work from the early 1980’s to 2022, on his critique of Western Media.
Born in Santiago, and fleeing in 1982 Pinochet’s Chile, Alfredo Jaar is a New York based artist, architect and filmmaker who creates thought provoking work, encouraging us to question how we view things. 

Political, social issues, devastations, and heartbreaking events, on genocide, the displacement of refugees across borders and the balance of power in world affairs have formed the artist’s work. Concerned with social injustices and human suffering, Jaar seeks to reveal what has and is being erased or left out from images in newspapers, magazines, adverts, the media, how humanitarian crises are being represented, and uncover what lies behind an image or a headline.

By isolating specific magazine covers, advertisements, and articles, and on certain occasions doctoring images or altering headlines, Alfredo Jaar accentuates the important messages he wants to highlight. Jaar confronts images from the media that he feels misrepresent a situation or an event, proceeding to lift an image away from its original context, placing it in a space or framework where the invisible factor of an image can become visible, and thus rendering the original media image void of any complete control or influence. 

The exhibition at Goodman Gallery includes works where Jaar has taken aim at major publications for their mass erasure and misrepresentation of Africa from the Western media agenda. The power of Alfredo Jaar's art, his dedication to both observe what is being emphasised and what has been erased or unmentioned, untangle words and visuals, makes the viewer reflect on the world, on the news, on information, on what we are told everyday, and even on power itself. 

There is much to discuss in this powerful and striking exhibition, where the artist fuelled by compassion for humanity, commentates on violence and discrimination, challenges biases, showcases politics, photojournalism across his work, and inspiring care and attention. As he relayed in a tour of his work at Goodman Gallery, in response to a person's question on hope and a change in the world, Alfredo Jaar recalls Gramsci’s thoughts on the pessimism of the intellect, but the optimism of the will, for although there is much injustice around the world, there is always the optimism to make things better.

Alfredo Jaar, Sartre, 1985, Pigment print mounted on museum board Work: 63.5 x 50.8 cm, Frame: 65.4 x 52.7 cm STD 1/3 + 2 AP


Installation: Alfredo Jaar, IF IT CONCERNS US, IT CONCERNS YOU, Goodman Gallery London, 2023

Alfredo Jaar, You and Us, 1984, 

Two C-prints and two pigment Prints Variable Dimensions, Two C-prints: each: 66 x 51 cm, Two pigment Prints: 50.8 x 34.6 cm STD 1/3 + 2 AP

" The artist reverses the message of a CBS advert rolled out on New York City subways in the mid 1980s. The original advert stated, “If it concerns you, it concerns us”, alluding to the power of the public to inform their coverage. Jaar’s reversal of the words “you” and “us” suggests that the original message is a fallacy and a manipulation: “it is actually the power forces at play behind the media outlets - in this instance a TV channel owned by the General Electrics Corporation that manufactures refrigerators but also bombs and aeroplanes - that are setting the media agenda” - Jaar. "

Detail: Alfredo Jaar, You and Us , 1984 (A)


 Alfredo Jaar, Esquire (The final decline and total collapse of the American avant-garde), 1979, Pigment Print Work: 58.3 x 44.5 cm STD 1/3 + 2 AP


Alfredo Jaar, West’s authority in the world, 2023, UV print on mirror, back mounted on Di bond with aluminum brace,

Work: 45.7 x 68.6 cm, Edition of 3 +2AP 

Alfredo Jaar, Mea Culpa, 2022 Pigment print, magazine Work: 41.9 x 218.4 cm Frame: 47 x 223.5 cm STD 1/3 + 2 AP, is seen in the relefection of Alfredo Jaar's work West’s authority in the world.

 Alfredo Jaar, Killing on camera is wrong, 1984, Pigment print Work: 43.2 x 33 cm STD 1/3 + 2 AP


Installation: Alfredo Jaar, IF IT CONCERNS US, IT CONCERNS YOU, Goodman Gallery London, 2023

Alfredo Jaar, Life Magazine, March 1, 1968, 1995
Three pigment prints on Epson hot press paper mounted on 3 mm Sintra Work - each: 172.7 x 127 cm, Frame - each: 177.8 x 132 cm, Frame - each: 177.8 x 396 cm STD 1/3

Alfredo Jaar, Life Magazine, April 19, 1968, 1995, 

3 Pigment Prints, Work - each: 194.3 x 127 cm, Frame - each: 200.7 x 133.4 cm, Framed - Overall dims: 200.7 x 400.1 cm STD 1/2 + 1 AP


Installation: Alfredo Jaar, IF IT CONCERNS US, IT CONCERNS YOU, Goodman Gallery London, 2023

Alfredo Jaar, Searching for Africa in Life, 1996/2022, Eight light-boxes with color transparencies STD 1/2 + 1 AP



The new large-scale lightbox edition of Searching for Africa in Life (1996), it was exhibited at the 8th Triennial of Photography in Hamburg last year (curated by Koyo Kouoh) and is now permanently installed at the library of The New School in New York.


Alfredo Jaar at Goodman Gallery, London



Alfredo Jaar (b. 1956, Santiago, Chile) is an artist, architect, and filmmaker. He has participated in the Biennales of Venice (1986, 2007, 2009, 2013), Sao Paulo (1987, 1989, 2010) as well as Documenta in Kassel (1987, 2002). Important individual exhibitions include The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1992); Whitechapel, London (1992); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1995); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1994);The Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome (2005) and The Nederlands Fotomuseum (2019). Major recent surveys of his work have taken place at Musée des Beaux Arts, Lausanne (2007); Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2008); Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlinische Galerie and Neue Gesellschaft fur bildende Kunst e.V., Berlin (2012); Rencontres d’Arles (2013); KIASMA, Helsinki (2014); and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (2017). The artist has realised more than seventy public interventions around the world. Over sixty monographic publications have been published about his work. He became a Guggenheim Fellow in 1985 and a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. He was awarded the Hiroshima Art Prize in 2018, and has recently received the prestigious Hasselblad award for 2020. 

ALFREDO JAAR | IF IT CONCERNS US, IT CONCERNS YOU | 2023 is on at Goodman Gallery London from 18 APRIL to 24 MAY 2023

Pictures courtesy and copyright of Goodman Gallery


Photo London runs from 10th -14th May