Artist
Santiago Sierra
See images of Work
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Cerdos devorando la península ibérica
Photographic diptych print
124 x 220cm
2014

Pieces of road
100 x 100 cm
1992

A construction company specializing in road works was asked to pull the road up in rectangular blocks each measuring 100 x 100 cm. At first it was neces-sary to negotiate this project not only with the construction company. but with the workers themselves, having them pulling these pieces out. Not all workers were willing to carry out this job, therefore different groups of them were engaged in the production of this piece. Once the large pieces of road were pulled out they were placed in the gallery and arranged according to a reticular structure. The bits of road that exceeded the fixed measure-ment of 100 x 100 cm were cut, leaving the remaining parts on the floor.

Cubo de carroña
Silver gelatin print
150 x 221 cm
2015

Edificio iluminado
C-Print
245 x 150 cm
2003

Economical Study on the Skin of Caracans
Digital print
35 pieces
70 x 46.7 x 0.7cm
2006

The skin on the back of 10 persons who declared to have zero dollars was photographed. A medium tone in a greyscale was assigned to that value. The skin on the back of 10 persons who declared to have a thousand dollars was photographed. A different medium tone in a greyscale was assigned to that value. Finally, the skin on the back of 10 persons who declared to have million dollars was photographed. A medium tone in a greyscale, different from the other two, was assigned to that value. Once a tone of grey in the scale had been assigned to zero, ten and million dollars, the value of black and white was calculated in dollars. The value of black turned out to be minus 2.106 dollars; and the value of white 11.548.415 dollars.

Those in Charge
Collaboration with Jorge Galindo
Gran Vía, Madrid, España
2012

Los Encargados [Those in Charge], 2012, shows the procession making its way along the Gran Vía of Madrid while accompanied by a soaring soundtrack. The song, “Warszawianka,” used as an anthem by Polish workers in 1905, has been adopted by populist movements worldwide. Heard frequently in Spain during their Civil War (1936–39), it is also recognizable as the score for footage of the October Revolution in the opening credits of the 1997 movie The Jackal.

Those in Charge
Collaboration with Jorge Galindo
Gran Vía, Madrid, España
2012

Los Encargados [Those in Charge], 2012, shows the procession making its way along the Gran Vía of Madrid while accompanied by a soaring soundtrack. The song, “Warszawianka,” used as an anthem by Polish workers in 1905, has been adopted by populist movements worldwide. Heard frequently in Spain during their Civil War (1936–39), it is also recognizable as the score for footage of the October Revolution in the opening credits of the 1997 movie The Jackal.

World’s largest graffiti
Smara refugee camp, Argelia
2012

In October 2012 upon the invitation of Artifariti and the Frente Polisario the letters “S.O.S” were carved into the ground of the Western Sahara/Algeria near the Saharaui refugee camps. The graffiti measures 5km x 1,7km, which makes it the largest graffiti in the world.

Plate
2015

Placa (Plate) is a sculpture-object of melted bronze making reference on one side to the arbitrary cult mechanisms of effigies that are often made in a public space in Mexico, and on the other side, it locates spatially the dis-tance from which the spectator is to the Official Residence of Los Pinos, the country’s epicenter of power and political control.

The Anveil
Mexico City
2015

Yunque shows an anvil, which belonged to a Mexican goldsmith’s family during the Second World War and who used to make flagships for the militia. Once again, the plaque duplicates the forms of homage in the public space, but with a sentence coming from colloquial language referring to situations where survival becomes the essential element.

La lona
15 young people under a tarpaulin
Dimensions variable
2015

La lona (Tarpaulin), favors the physical encounter between the piece and the spectator, people coming from different contexts create the sculpture. The formal configuration reminds us of a scene from Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) a film that described the epic first year of the Russian Revolution through the representation of power and its connection with the masses, the worker strikes and the Odessa rebellions.

Veteran of the war of Mexico facing the corner
Archive ink on paper
60 x 30cm
2015

Bio

Madrid, Spain, 1966.
Lives and works in Madrid, Spain and Mexico City.

The work of Santiago Sierra has been characterized by showing situations where survival is a fundamental element. He translates into artistic practice the inhuman aspects of the economic system, the mechanisms of corruption and the labor exploitation of the individual. Links diverse references with direct reality to explore and represent the world articulating even a critical stance before the own relations of the art world and its agents.

In the nineties his projects became known for establishing systems of negotiation with third parties to carry out actions -generally occupying a public space- to demonstrate the materialistic procedures related to the systemic violence of capitalism and the working conditions that are generated from it. This body of work has questioned the functioning of institutional structures, control over the public space, the emergence of informal architectures in the urban landscape associated with forms of survival; the conditions of disuse and disposal not only from the point of view of the material but also applied to individuals as a reflection of social contrasts.

With this work and the respective documentation Sierra directs the viewer's experience towards the brutality of reality through the scenes he reproduces and which, in fact, repeats the operations of power he criticizes as a strategy.

His work is associated with premises of minimalism and conceptualism and takes form from the sculptural, documentation, public events, film projects and photography to reveal the perversity of power. The characteristic titles also serve as an instruction for operation or reproduction and reinforce the questioning of the positive use of the image held by the capitalist system.

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Exhibitions
Summer ShowAug 10, 2018
La lonaFeb 07, 2015
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