Alfredo Jaar, Cries and Whispers, 1988

Images of Alfredo Jaar, Cries and Whispers

Alfredo Jaar, Chilean, b. 1956
Cries and Whispers, 1988
Duratrans face-mounted to acrylic in light boxes
Two parts, each: 18 × 96 × 7 in. (45.7 × 243.8 × 17.8 cm)
Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gift of Howard and Donna Stone, 1996.7.a-b

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago


Alfredo Jaar displays his work in hard-to-reach or hard-to-see spaces. In Cries and Whispers, he positioned a small cutout of an undocumented Mexican immigrant in the United States at the very edge of the visual field. Jaar’s decisions about placement, both in- and outside of the frame, shape the meaning of the work. His work confronts viewers with a figure on the margins, suggesting that space, as much as the sitter, is the subject.