Artist, architect and film director, he lives and works in New York, city where he lives since 1982. A socially committed artist, he denounces the distance between developed countries and those in Asia, Latin America and especially Africa on the basis of a more poetic, rather than combative discourse. Attracted to the world of information, he depicts the indifference of the media towards the world’s poorest countries.
Video, sculpture, photography, interventions in public spaces or installations – these are the different media Jaar uses to realize his works inspired by the world, poetry, film… and in this way conceive models of thought, as he himself defines his works. Africa, through projects like The Rwanda Project (produced between 1994 and 2000) and Emergencia (1998), the restrictive immigration policies in European countries such as Finland (One Million Finnish Passports, 1995) and the invisibility of the homeless (Lights in the City, 1999, Montreal) are just some of the subjects Jaar has delved into throughout his long career. Some of his more outstanding public interventions are: A logo for America (1987), which took place in Times Square, New York; Playground (1999), produced in Sant Boi (Barcelona); La geometría de la memoria, an installation linked to the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos in Santiago de Chile (2010) or Park of the Laments, a project by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana, created in 2010.
Jaar has participated in the Venice Biennale in 1986, 2007 and in 2013 (representing Chile), the São Paulo Bienal (1987, 1988), the Biennale of Sydney (1990), and the Documenta of Kassel (1987, 2002). His work has been the subject of a large number of exhibitions in different countries : New Museum of Contemporary Art, (New York, 1992), Whitechapel Gallery (London, 1992), Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (1992), Moderna Museet (Stockholm, 1994), Centre d’Art Santa Mònica (Barcelona) and Koldo Mitxelena (San Sebastián), both in 1998, Fundación Telefónica (Santiago de Chile, 2006), Musée des Beaux Arts, (Lausanne, 2007) and Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2009), among others.
Awarded the Extremadura Prize for creation (2006) and more recently the National Visual Arts Prize of Chile (2013), his work is present in international public and private collections, such as: Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y León (León), Artium de Álava (Vitoria), Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, Tate (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris), The Art Institute of Chicago, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk, Denmark), Daros Latinamerica (Zurich, Switzerland), or the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.