Video 3: Alfredo Jaar video and talk


Alfredo Jaar’s video Muxima at PAFA’s Morris Gallery is a stunning view of Angola, its people, and the after-effects of Portuguese domination and of civil war. But mostly it’s an uplifting view of the lush rivers and landscape and the beautiful people, contrasted by poverty, ruins and rusty remainders of the past.

Alfredo Jaar, Muxima, a video about Angola
Alfredo Jaar, Muxima, a video about Angola

Muxima, which means heart, is the name of a popular Angolan folk song that plays in multiple versions through the video–which has the feel of a travelog that ultimately rips your heart out.

Alfredo Jaar's video Muxima shows the sad remains of past governments and war in Angola
Alfredo Jaar’s video Muxima shows the sad remains of past governments and war in Angola

My favorite moment was watching a sapper, with his worn out leather boots, threading through the viney landscape, searching for old landmines, and then exploding one. There was something so forlorn and lonely in his progress through that verdant overgrowth, trying to ameliorate the leftovers of history.

Jaar, a MacArthur “genius” award winner, will be speaking at PAFA Tuesday, March 24 at 6 p.m. The artist is a native of Chile who lives and works in New York.

His video, Which runs to Mar. 29,  is the second in a series of six contemporary videos curated by PAFA contemporary art Curator Julien Robson. The series, which began with Roz, by Burt Barr (see Roberta’s post), continues with
The Jackleg Testament – Part I: Jack and Eve (2004-2005) by Kentucky artist Jay Bolotin,  March 31 – May 12. Here’s the info on that and what else is coming up.

Admission to the videos, which are in the Morris Gallery transformed into a swell black box theate, is free and open to the public. (Good news. There’s comfortable seating, a necessity for viewing a video like Muxima, which is 36 minutes long).


alfredo jaar, pafa



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