Alfredo Jaar (b. 1956, Santiago, Chile) is an artist, architect, and filmmaker who lives and works in New York City. In installations, photographs, films, and community-based projects, he explores the public’s desensitization to images and how art can represent and reflect on severe and merciless historical events. Jaar’s work bears witness to military conflicts, political corruption, and imbalances of power among industrialized and developing nations.
To art critic Coline Milliard, Jaar said: ‘I strongly believe that artists are thinkers, as opposed to object makers. My working process is 99 percent thinking, and 1 percent making. That thinking process is at the core of what I do. And this process is always triggered by a specific site or issue. I am not a studio artist, I define myself as a project artist. I try to propose, with my projects, a creative model that responds to the particulars of a given situation”. “I believe that this is what artists do – with each project we propose a new conception of the world, and that new conception is a new way of looking at the world”.
The Cloud (2015) contemplates the hopeful voyage of millions of people who travel across the land every day in search of a better life. As we witness Europe’s anxious reaction to the current influx of migrants to its shores, Jaar’s work offers a dark, ominous and yet poetic vision of this phenomenon – it represents a watchful cloud in the sky over Europe. The cloud itself embodies water but in solid form and shape that moves across the land. It is a reminder that everything is interconnected and that confinement is not a solution. Clouds are a model of freedom. Clouds are the visible mass of otherwise invisible matter, which will ultimately evaporate in time. Clouds are impermanent. Arising from a reality of oblivion and rejection, this cloud over Europe is like an omen, an imminent downpour of new realities that we must face.


  • Title: The Cloud
  • Creator: Alfredo Jaar
  • Date Created: 2015
  • Location: Cleeve's Condensed Milk Factory, Limerick, Ireland
  • Physical Dimensions: approx. 600 x 600 x 100 cm
  • Medium: plaster bandages, balloons, polyester fibre

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