Alfredo Jarr
[Artist, b. 1956, Santiago, Chile, lives in New York.]

 Our society is blind. We have lost our ability to be affected by imagery. 
 Images have an advanced religion; they bury history. 
 I am suspicious and disillusioned about the uses and misuses of photography in the art world, the press, and the world of entertainment. And to make things more complicated, I don’t think that the general public is well educated regarding images. Generally we are taught how to read, but we are not taught how to look. 
 Journalistic information and presentation actually discourage action... we think we know, and because we think we know, we think we care. But it stops there. 
 As we all know, the objective and mission of the photojournalist is to show us the reality of the world. And in order to capture that reality, they go to dangerous and tragic places at the expense of their lives. I see them as the conscience of our humanity; they represent for me what is left of our humanity. 
 For me, what was important was to record everything I saw around me, and to do this as methodically as possible. In these circumstances a “good photograph” is a picture that comes as close as possible to reality. But the camera never manages to record what your eyes see, or what you feel at the moment. The camera always creates a new reality. 
 Reality cannot be photographed or represented. We can only create a new reality. And my dilemma is how to make art out of a reality that most of us would rather ignore. How do you make art when the world is in such a state? My answer has been to make mistakes, but when I can, to choose them. We are all guilt victims choosing mistakes, and as Godard said, the very definition of the human condition is in the mise-en-scéne itself.