MoMA Report – Lionel

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This art installation, created in 2002, is called Lament of the Images and is by Alfredo Jaar, a Chilean artist.

The first part of this installation involves walking through a dark tunnel. On the wall three backlit panels reveal information about events and images in the public domain. You walk forward, turn a corner, and then it is dark. The only light looks like daylight and falls in at the very end, through a doorway. You walk the length of the hallway and turn in the doorway, and you are blinded. What stands there is a large dark room with nothing but a big bright white screen. You are momentarily blinded by its brightness, since just a second ago, your eyes were accustomed to the darkness of the hallway.

The three panels of text in the first hallway each tell about an important event, as well as the absence of images of that event. I interpreted that the large bright screen represents the amount of pictures that exist, especially in today’s society.  Most people are taking pictures many times a day with their smartphones. Photography is very accessible in this day and age; all phones have them built in. Since the artist believes that if one tries to see all of the pictures in the world, one will see a bright blinding light. It is impossible to see every single picture; they blend together into something representative of events that they stand for.


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