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"Inferno and Paradiso: A Photojournalism Installation"
2001-04-21 until 2001-07-01
South African National Gallery
Cape Town, , ZA

Inferno and Paradiso was curated by Alfredo Jaar, one of the foremost representatives in today's international world of contemporary art. The artist, Alfredo Jaar was born in Chile but now lives in New York. In 1994 he went to Rwanda in the middle of the genocide, an experience which changed his life and his art. It was this experience that subsequently inspired him to stage this exhibition in co-operation with BildMuseet and Riksutstallningar (Swedish Travelling Exhibitions).

The installation showcases work by eighteen of the world's most acknowledged photojournalist and revolves around the emotional neutralization that photography and other visual representation have suffered in our times. The photographers were asked to choose two pictures of their own. One, the most difficult, painful picture taken by the photographer and the other the most positive, the one that has given the photographer the most joy. The images are shown as slide projections in the gallery space and projectors are set to expose pictures of Inferno and Paradiso after each other at a certain interval. The exhibition is extremely moving and its intention is to work against the general numbness and immunity that is built up by individuals through the constant bombardment of images expressing human suffering, by the press and other media.

The South African National Gallery is particularly pleased to be hosting this exhibition as it includes works by prominent South African and southern African photographers namely Peter Magubane, Themba Hadebe and Ricardo Rangel. The exhibition deals with issues and images of human suffering and through them tries to reinstill a sense of compassion and caring that may have been lost to societies that have been exposed to high levels of violence.


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