(Kindness) of (Strangers)
Alfredo Jaar’s new work (Kindness) of (Strangers) confronts visitors with a large-scale complex arrangement of neon arrows which, under their seemingly confusing lay-out, replicate a very familiar phenomenon. It illustrates the movement of people, from South to North. A small adjunctive chart acts as key and reveals that the arrows correspond to the main travel routes of migrants in 2015. The scale and complexity of these movements highlight the extraordinary journey of migrants fleeing war and persecution. These movements across Europe reveal the extent of the current crisis and the perpetual flux of migrants’ escape routes, where they encounter both kindness and its contrary. It also reveals the origin of their journey, and their destination. In this chaotic map, we are all strangers looking for kindness.
(Kindness) of (Strangers) has been specially produced for Berlin’s Herbstsalon that this year focusses on the highly current subject of escape. Parallel to Jaar’s presentation of (Kindness) of (Strangers) in the Corner Space of Galerie Thomas Schulte, a second edition is installed at the Maxim Gorki Theater.