Alfredo Jaar : The Gift

Art Basel: Parcours, Basel, Switzerland
11 Jun 2016 - 19 Jun 2016

Alfredo Jaar : The Gift

Alfredo Jaar, The Gift, 2016.

The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) presents Alfredo Jaar‘s project The Gift, 2016 as part of Art Basel’s public program Parcours.

MOAS is a Non-Governmental Organization that believes that no one deserves to die at sea.
In the past two decades, tens of thousands of men, women and children, mostly refugees escaping violence, persecution and hardship, have lost their lives at sea while searching for a better life.
MOAS is proud to have rescued nearly 12,000 from the world’s deadliest maritime migration routes and is passionate about the plight of those who are desperate enough to put themselves and their families in danger.

Established in response to a humanitarian disaster in October 2013 in which some 400 men, women and children drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa, it has grown rapidly to include experienced maritime officers, medical staff, rescue swimmers and international humanitarians using innovative technology in cooperation with the coastal authorities to provide professional search and rescue to help mitigate loss of life at sea.

No one deserves to die at sea.

With his project The Gift, Alfredo Jaar invites people to remember that there are moral needs to address this situation and, in doing so, to exist outside of one’s self. His fundraising public intervention consists of distributing blue cardboard boxes and offering them as gifts. Instructions ask to open and re-fold each box inside out, transforming them into artworks.

A gift invites another; and in this instance, all donations will go directly to MOAS.

The Parcours sector engages the public and fairgoers by placing site-specific sculptures, interventions, and performances in the city’s neighborhoods. Parcours is open to the public and is curated for the first time by Samuel Leuenberger in 2016.


Alfredo Jaar is an artist, architect, and filmmaker who lives and works in New York City. He was born in Santiago de Chile. Jaar’s work has been shown extensively around the world. He has participated in the Biennales of Venice (1986, 2007, 2009, 2013), Sao Paulo (1987, 1989, 2010) as well as Documenta in Kassel (1987, 2002). Important individual exhibitions include The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Whitechapel, London; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm. A major retrospective of his work took place in summer 2012 at three institutions in Berlin: Berlinische Galerie, Neue Gesellschaft fur bildende Kunst e.V. and Alte Nationalgalerie. In 2014 the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki hosted the most extensive retrospective of his career. Jaar has realized more than 60 public interventions around the world. More than 50 monographic publications have been published about his work. He became a Guggenheim Fellow in 1985 and a MacArthur Fellow in 2000.


Alfredo Jaar is represented by the following galleries at Art Basel:

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg / Cape Town
kamel mennour, Paris
Galerie Lelong, New York
Galleria Lia Rumma, Milan / Naples
Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin


June 13–19, 2016
Parcours Night: Saturday, June 18, 6pm–midnight
Art Basel: Parcours

4051 Basel

Monday 7–10pm,
Tuesday–Saturday 11am–9pm,
Sunday 11am–7pm


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