Alfredo Jaar, 2002


Emergencia – an installation

A large pool filled with black water holds the African continent, which slowly rises up from the water only to sink again and disappear into the dark. The pool is 8 x 7 meters and has a deept of 1 meter. It wais 47 tons.

Emergencia is the spanish word for emergencie but it also corealtes with the word emerge, to raise.

In 1994, Jaar traveled to Rwanda during the ongoing genocide. He was deeply moved by what he experienced and saw in the refugee camps. The international community’s seeming lack of interest in one of the cruelest genocide’s of the 20th century, shocked him. When he returned home, he initially wanted to convey the pain and humiliation he had seen through the 3000 photographs he had taken during his visit to Rwanda. But he felt that the pictures had lost their meaning. So his works about Rwanda came to consist of just a few pictures combined with text. “Emhergencia” is the last and finalising piece in his Rwanda serie.

The artist Alfredo Jaar was born in Chile 1956, and lives in New York. Today he is one of the most successful artists in the international contemporary art scene. He often uses photography as elements in his works. In his installation he creates surroundings with the aid of architectonic details, photography, video, light and darkness. He has been active as an artist since the 1970s and has always endeavoured to unify ethics and aesthetics, as well as, motivated by a strong moral conviction, create works that through their beauty and intelligence stimulate other people’s imagination, empathy and compassion. Some of the topics Alfredo Jaar has taken up in his works are commitment for the Third World, refugees, homeless and suppressed ethnic groups.

In conjuction with the installation “Emergencia” BAC- has produced a serie of seminars with the same name. At six diffrent occations the theme of the African continent, the third world, the post colonial situation and a discussion on what led up to the events on September 11th.

4 April Henning Melber The Nordic Africa Institute
4 April Bawa Yamba The Nordic Africa Institute
17April Peter Wallensteen University of Uppsala Department of Peace and Conflict Research
29 April Mikela Lundberg University of Gothenburg Department of History of Ideas and Theory of Science
29 April Film by Isaac Julien: Frantz Fanon – Black Skin, White Mask
8 May Cecilia Parsberg Artist
8 May Pär Wästberg Author