Trevor’s reflection on the Alfredo sessions: As an artist and as a man, I got the immediate impression that Alfredo loves people. His work deals with human rights. There were so many concepts and ideas that Alfredo spoke about in the interviews and discussions on our shoots. It was a lot to digest in a brief time. Here are a few of the many things that sparked my imagination:
1) He spoke about popular culture manifesting reality, using the example of an African American President in the United States becoming reality. Suggesting the notion took root in the minds of people years ago, then was expressed by the rappers and musicians, and in characters on Film and Television, and finally pop culture became reality with President Obama.
2) His statement “For something to become art it must be made public.” How true. A work with no audience serves no one.
3) At his keynote he addressed many social issues in our world. I found the “Passion For Education” protests and the moxie of the Chilean student protestors so inspiring. Especially those without financing that won seats in the Chilean government through social media.
4) Things come back around. As a kid growing up in Canada in the 80’s, I would listen relentlessly to music. One of my favorite albums of all time is U2 – The Joshua Tree. The last track on the album (which I would listen to repeatedly) is a powerful, moving tribute to the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, a group of women whose children had been “disappeared” by the Argentineand Chilean dictatorships in the 70’s. The song contains stunning beauty and sadness. I vaguely remember the news of the Detenidos Desaparecidos joining U2 on stage during a performance in Santiago, Chile on the PopMart Tour in 1998.It was fascinating to see this man, on stage, in Savannah, 2014, speaking about the South American regime that seized power during that coup d’états on September 11th, 1973. He spoke of how that pivotal moment had inspired and shaped his life. An estimate gives 22,000 killed or “disappeared” between 1975 and mid-1978 in and around Santiago by the hands of the Chilean secret police. The violence, destruction, followed by the rebirth and renewal of modern day Santiago. Followed by the uprising of today’s disenfranchised youth struggling for a better tomorrow. He echoed this worldwide life cycle of struggle and rebirth throughout his works.
5) Thank you for introducing us to the beautiful Iranian song “Between the Heavens and Me” by Kayhan Kalhor & Ali Bahrami Fard.
In the few hours we spent with him; we learned a lot. Alfredo reminded us to wake up and pay attention to the world. Thank you Mr. Jaar.