Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Image of Angel 37159
2018.10.158

Artist

Alfredo Jaar

Title

Angel

Creation Date

2007

Century

early 21st century

Dimensions

30 3/4 x 87 in. (78.11 x 220.98 cm)

Object Type

photograph

Creation Place

South America, Chilean

Medium and Support

c-print on mounted on plexiglas

Credit Line

Archival Collection of Marion Boulton Stroud and Acadia Summer Arts Program, Mt. Desert Island, Maine. Gift from the Marion Boulton "Kippy" Stroud Foundation

Copyright

This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

2018.10.158
Set against the backdrop of Luanda, Angola, the young man depicted in Alfredo Jaar’s Angel evokes qualities associated with contemporary power objects responding to global inequalities. Before Jaar made the photograph, the subject spoke of the city’s economic struggles, yet emphasized that angels watched over Angolans. The boy’s raised hand is reminiscent of the pose of Central African power figures called nkisi nkondi, whose raised arms held spears or weapons. Other power objects on view in the exhibition address how people used them to call upon ancestors for guidance and protection. Here in the photograph, the young man is an analogous vehicle of power, gesturing toward invisible forces that will guide Angolans to prosperity.

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