Alfredo Jaar at the Galleria Lia Rumma

Alfredo Jaar at the Galleria Lia Rumma
#Art

A quote from Consolatio ad Marciam by Seneca, written in red neon, with the letters displayed like a rain of tears greets guests on the ground floor of the Galleria Lia Rumma. It’s a sort of welcome to the public by the Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar who, ten years after his public work Cultura, Dove Sei? and his personal show at the Hangar Bicocca It Is Difficult, returns to Milan with a rigorous and poetic show which winds its way over the three floors of the gallery. On the second floor, Lament of the Images - from which the exhibition draws its name - brings together two glowing photographic tables. One from above, mounted upside-down and suspended from the ceiling, moves slowly closer to the one below it, until only a thin slice of light comes out of the tiny space between the two surfaces. The absence of the images themselves correlates to the the conviction of the artist that “we have lost the capacity to see and be moved by images.” The itinerary finishes on the third floor with Shadows, part of the trilogy - inaugurated by The Sound of Silence, displayed in 2008 at the Hangar Bicocca in Milan - in which the artist, architect and director explores the power and politics behind iconic images. A dark corridor holds six tiny light-boxes, a sequence of images from Dutch photojournalist Koen Wessing taken in Nicaragua in 1978 that document the events following the murder of a farmer by the National Guard of the Somoza regime during the civil war. The drama continues in another darkened room, where two women, the daughters of the farmer, are informed of the murder of their father. The portrait of these devastated mourning women, their hands raised to the sky, depicts a universal pain, an icon with which anyone can identify.

Samantha De Martin - © 2018 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano