Alfredo Jaar

Rotunda Project 2023

One Million German Passports

The Chilean-born and New York-based architect who makes art – as Alfredo Jaar refers to himself – illustrates why he is considered one of the most culturally, politically, and socially charged visual artist of our time. As the late Okwui Enwezor wrote, “Alfredo Jaar’s work represents one of the most developed commitments by a contemporary artist in the blatant embrace of the structural link between ethics and aesthetics, art and politics.” The artist explores complex socio-political issues, bringing to the fore the ethics of representation. Through quiet and meditative works, Jaar confronts issues of great magnitude, bearing witness to humanitarian disasters and attesting to the impact of military conflict, political corruption and economic inequality throughout the world.

Once again, Alfredo Jaar draws on an urgent topic of our times, responding to the invasion of Ukraine and European migration policy, including the current debate about naturalization in Germany. In the central rotunda, he presents an art installation that consists of one million German passports behind a high security glass wall. This is the number of people that former chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed to Germany in 2015. But this is also the number of people who later rejected her and her party CDU and voted for the right-wing party AFD. The installation questions citizenship and identity, in the face of an increasing refugee crisis due to climate change and ongoing conflicts as well as the unequal treatment of refugees depending on their origin.

This project is dedicated to Okwui Enwezor (October 23, 1963, Calabar, Nigeria – March 15, 2019, Munich, Germany).

An exhibition newspaper with articles on the installation will be published in May 2023. Authors are Donatella Di Cesare, Steffen Mau, Sinthujan Varatharajah, Mirjam Zadoff, Sandro Mezzadra, Nicholas Courtman, Christian Joppke, Dimitry Porzellanov, Laura Robson, Piper French and others.

Organisation: Andres Lepik and Anja Albrecht

Opening: 28 March 2023, 7 pm
Talk Alfredo Jaar: IT IS DIFFICULT. RECENT PROJECTS, 29 March 2023, 7 pm, Ernst von Siemens-Auditorium

Sponsored by Allianz; PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne e.V


MAY 9, 2023 | 5:00 PM

On March 28, "One Million German Passports", an installation by the artist Alfredo Jaar, was opened in the rotunda of the Pinakothek der Moderne. "One Million German Passports" can be seen there, stacked close together to form a cube measuring 6m x 6m x 80cm, behind a high-security glass wall. According to Alfredo Jaar, the number refers to the number of people that former Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed to Germany in 2015. But she should also remember the number of people who later distanced themselves from her and her party, the CDU, and voted for the far-right AfD party in 2017. In this polarizing work, Alfredo Jaar refers not only to the situation in Germany and Europe, but also to global migration in general, and thus touches on fundamental questions about flight, immigration and citizenship.

Such a politically and socially challenging work can be understood as committed concept art and requires contextualization in its minimalist aesthetic. To this end, the Architekturmuseum der TUM publishes a 20-page newspaper with 15 articles by international experts, scientists and writers: Navid Kermani, Laura Robson, Piper French, Ana Dana Beroš, Steffen Mau, Sandro Mezzadra, Nanna Heidenreich, Mirjam Zadoff, Christian Joppke, Dimitry Kochenov, Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, Miriam Rürup, Sinthujan Varatharajah, Nicholas Courtman and Donatella Di Cesare. The content spans a thematic arc from global migration movements to European and German migration policy to naturalization and identity and serves as a basis for interested visitors* for an in-depth examination of the installation.

Moderation: Andres Lepik and Anja Albrecht
Venue: Pavillon 333 at Pinakothek der Moderne
Entry: for free

Alfredo Jaar
One Million German Passports, 2023
Photo: Ulrike Myrzik
Alfredo Jaar
One Million German Passports, 2023
Photo: Ulrike Myrzik

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Opening Hours

Daily 10.00 – 18.00
Thursday 10.00 – 20.00
Monday closed


Pinakothek der Moderne
Barer Straße 40
80333 München

Admission prices (Inclusive opening hours )

Sunday admission 1€

Thursday – Saturday 10€
reduced 7€
Day pass (Alte Pinakothek, Pinakothek der Moderne, Museum Brandhorst, Sammlung Schack) 12€

Duration of the visit

ca. 60 minutes


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