Alfredo Jaar: Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom

Words by Elena Scarpa
October 9, 2015

Fondazione Merz takes part in the project L’Albero della cuccagna. Nutrimenti dell’arte: a nationwide exhibition involving several public and private institutions, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, and presents a new work by Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar,  Che cento fiori sboccino (Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom).

Placed in the outside space at the Fondazione, the installation—consisting of 100 flowers forming the infinity sign (∞), and a neon sign—makes a clear reference to Mao’s 1956 campaign, which initially encouraged freedom of expression and constructive criticism to promote the revolution. Here Jaar reverses Mao’s formula into a call for conscience and the beauty of nature: a beauty that could be exhaustible if we are not capable of taking constructive criticism.

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