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Santiago Sierra Dedicated to the Workers and Unemployed at Lisson Gallery Private View Tuesday 31st January 2012 - FAD Magazine

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Santiago Sierra Dedicated to the Workers and Unemployed at Lisson Gallery Private View Tuesday 31st January 2012

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SANTIAGO SIERRA NO GLOBAL TOUR 1 From the Carpenter shop to the former stable. Lucca, Italy. July 2009

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SANTIAGO SIERRA 160CM LINE TATTOOED ON 4 PEOPLE El Gallo Arte Contemporáneo. Salamanca, Spain. December 2000

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SANTIAGO SIERRA 10-INCH LINE SHAVED ON THE HEADS OF TWO JUNKIES WHO RECEIVED A SHOT OF HEROIN AS PAYMENT 302 Fortaleza Street. San Juan de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico. October 2000

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SANTIAGO SIERRA 68 PEOPLE PAID TO BLOCK A MUSEUM’S ENTRANCE Korea 2000

February 1st – March 3rd 2012

Lisson Gallery is to present a major retrospective of video and new works by Santiago Sierra. The exhibition features fifty-three videos that fall into three distinctive groups; performance based works, video documents of sculptural projects and programmed films.

New works include No, Global Tour – a film documenting the manufacture and transportation of a monumental sculpture in the form of the word “NO”. Conceived to be understood in as many contexts as possible, the “NO” gradually assumes a complex semantic load during a journey full of eventualities, accidents and unexpected events in various world cities. A three metre high “NO” sculpture accompanies the film’s pared down minimalism presenting a powerful portrait of humanity asserting itself everywhere and at all times by forcefully saying: “NO”.

Addressing situations of exploitation and marginalisation Sierra’s provocative works often spark controversy, especially those in which underprivileged individuals are paid for performing degrading or uncomfortable actions. Drug addicted prostitutes have received the price of a shot of heroin in exchange for having their backs tattooed 160 cm Line Tattooed on 4 People (2000), and Workers in a Ships Hold (2001) saw North African migrant workers crammed below decks in the hold of ship in the port of Barcelona docks for three hours in stifling heat against the backdrop of demonstrations against changes in immigration laws.

Viewers to the exhibition will be confronted by Death Counter, an LED display mounted to the exterior of the gallery. This real time sculpture counts the annual number of human deaths worldwide since the beginning of each calendar year. Mimicking the US national debt clock, Sierra’s piece reduces a human life to a meaningless number.

Eschewing notions of the politically correct, Sierra forces us to question the commodification of life exposing and challenging the structures of power that operate in society. The essence of these works is often in the tension generated and sustained between the event or its documentation and the spectator. The Penetrated (2008), a 45-minute film in eight acts was filmed on October 12 2008, Día de la Raza, a Spanish holiday commemorating Columbus’ discovery of the Americas. The film examines cultural psychologies of domination and submission, and how they relate to labour, race, gender, and class.

When accused of exploitation and sensationalism Sierra responds that he is merely representing the commercial conditions of our existence that we are uncomfortable confronting. In doing so he has created a body of work that rescues and renews the expressive power of minimalism and conceptualism, with a political charge that encourages reflection on Western art while denouncing our current situation.
lissongallery.com/
www.santiago-sierra.com/

Extra Events Santiago Sierra ‘In Conversation’ with Hans Ulrich Obrist Tuesday 31 January 2012 12.30 – 13.30 29 Bell Street, London, NW1 5BY Booking Essential

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SANTIAGO SIERRA 10 PEOPLE PAID TO MASTURBATE Tejadillo Street. Havana, Cuba. November 2000

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SANTIAGO SIERRA 245 m3 Stommein Synagogue, Pulheim, Germany. March 2006

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SANTIAGO SIERRA 133 PERSONS PAID TO HAVE THEIR HAIR DYED BLOND Arsenale. Venice, Italy. June 2001

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