Subscribe to our newsletter for our must-see exhibitions, artists, events and more here
Shop William Kentridge Prints here

Self Portrait

Self Portrait, 1977
Nine pigment prints
Work: 152.4 x 152.4 cm

This work is composed of nine portraits taken by Alfredo Jaar when he first visited the United States in 1977. The portraits were created using a computer, which was on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and was used to generate digital images of the sitter. The nine pictures show Jaar going through a series of extreme emotions: from anguish, as the artist casts his eyes downward and cradles his head, to fear, despair and euphoria, as he throws his head back and bursts into a sort of maniac laughter. The work depicts Jaar’s own mental state at the time, as a young Chilean man who witnessed Augusto Pinochet’s violent coup, supported by the USA, only a few years earlier. The work is part of a larger body of works dedicated to the advent and aftermath of the dictatorship in Chile.