The Department of Art & Design at Cal State San Bernardino celebrated the launch of its new BA in art history and global cultures program and the Art History & Global Cultures Lecture Series with the inaugural lecture “Alfredo Jaar: It Is Difficult” with internationally renowned artist Alfredo Jaar.

Jaar discussed his much-acclaimed work on  Nov. 19, via Zoom.

Born in Santiago de Chile in 1956, raised in the Caribbean island of Martinique, and based in New York since 1982, Jaar is one of the most celebrated artists working in the global context today. His work – including public space interventions, photojournalist-based installations, films and conceptual projects developed from online, architectural, textual and pedagogical platforms – address the catastrophic legacies of modernity in the global present, inviting us to engage critically and affectively with the relationships between art, politics, race, ethics, memory and language. 

Trained as an architect and filmmaker, Jaar’s work has been exhibited across the world in venues such as The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (1992); The Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (2005); and the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin (2012). He has also participated in numerous biennials including Venice (1986, 2007, 2009, 2013) and Sao Paulo (1987, 1989, 2010, 2020), as well as Documenta in Kassel (1987, 2002). Jaar was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1985 and a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. More recently, he received the Hiroshima Art Prize in 2018 and the Hasselblad Award in 2020. 

“Alfredo Jaar: It Is Difficult” inaugurates CSUSB’s new degree program offering the innovative BA in art history and global cultures, introduced this August 2020 in the Department of Art & Design.

The inaugural lecture series contributes to the global contexts for art history that CSUSB now offers, highlighted by courses in diverse cultural histories, theories and discourses and examinations of the structures of art history and methodologies of exhibitions/museums. In coordination, the program brings to campus every fall a well-known art intellectual, historian, practitioner or curator whose work addresses critical questions regarding the global arts, propelling dynamic and urgent discussions around issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, capitalism, coloniality, Indigeneity, the environment and much more.

Jaar’s lecture was followed by a Q&A open to the public, as well as a closed meeting with MFA studio art students in the Department of Art & Design at CSUSB. 

For more information about the Department of Art & Design at CSUSB, visit its website at, email the department at, or email Florencia San Martín, CSUSB assistant professor of art history and global cultures, at

“Alfredo Jaar: It Is Difficult” flyer