SANTIAGO SIERRA

VETERANS OF THE WARS OF YOUGOSLAVIA, BOSNIA, KOSOVO, SERBIA & SOMALIA FACING THE CORNER

source: teamgal

Team Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by the Madrid-based artist Santiago Sierra. The exhibition, entitled Veterans, will run from 11 April through 25 May 2013. The gallery is located at 47 Wooster Street, cross streets Grand and Broome. Concurrently, our 83 Grand Street space will house a show of new paintings by New York-based artist Stanley Whitney.

For his third solo exhibition at Team Gallery, Santiago Sierra presents a new body of work called Veterans. The show consists of nine photographs, all taken from performances using local war veterans staged in various museums and galleries over the past two years. At each iteration, the local audience completes the event with its unique response to the situation. Sierra houses all of the performative facts within the titles, for example: British Veteran of the Wars of Afghanistan and Iraq Facing the Corner (Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK, July 2011). The exhibition includes a photograph of a U.S. Veteran facing a corner at Team Gallery, from a performance enacted on April 6th, one week before this exhibition’s opening.

Sierra troubles the devil/hero binary dominating popular representations of military workers, casting the veteran as a victim of the same socioeconomic conditions that engender prostitutes, drug addicts, and illegal workers. It is the hierarchies of capital that provide the industry of war with the lowest rung of its workforce while also helping to construct a culture of unexamined violence that facilitates an easy slippage from spectator to enactor within a range of unconscionable acts. The veterans are financially compensated for their participation in the performance as they have been paid for their service in war. Furthermore, the use of performers from the United States’ volunteer army encourages the viewer to locate a prospective soldier’s motivation amongst desire, obligation and exploitation.

Sierra’s staged action, which mimics the common children’s punishment, can be seen as a representation of guilt and forced contemplation by an absent, invisible transgressor. Conversely, however, one may recognize the veteran’s occupation of the gallery as an act of silent protest. Silent, static and facing away from the viewer, the veterans continue Sierra’s complex use of negation to make visible opaque social situations. While remaining anonymous, each veteran brings reality and specificity into the viewer’s general perceptions of war and those who carry out its actions. The presence of the veteran references the relationship between power and guilt as well as the distance between the often cryptic political motives that lead to war and the experiences of those directly affected by its consequences.

Over the past twenty years, Santiago Sierra has exhibited widely in Europe and the Americas, and has been the subject of numerous solo presentations in museums and galleries, including London’s Tate Modern; Mexico’s Museo Rufino Tamayo; Magasin 3 Konsthall in Stockholm; Hannover’s Kestnergesellschaft; Belgium’s Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens; the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria; the Kunsthalle Wein; Birmingham’s Ikon; and at Kunst Werke in Berlin. His work has garnered him international acclaim, and in 2003 he represented Spain at the 50th Venice Biennale.
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source: blogart21org

Santiago Sierra’s third solo exhibition at Team Gallery, Veterans, displays nine photographs of war veterans standing in corners. All that is visible are the backs of their bodies; their hands are clasped either behind or in front of them. Some are in uniform, and some are not. Some are accessorized, wearing for example, a watch or cowboy hat. One veteran in particular stands in plain clothes holding a cane, signifying a possible combat wound.

In Veterans, the concept of retrospection, not only in terms of combat, but also in terms of showing the hindside of the body, reveals an acute relevance to the Art21 Blog’s current theme, hindsight. Then, there is the relevance of these bodies to this column: Sierra’s photographs are documents of performances.

For the past two years, Sierra has solicited veterans living in the cities where his shows are located to pose for thirty minutes in the corners of galleries and museums. As is the customary exchange, Sierra remunerated the veterans with an amount equivalent to their wages as soldiers.

The exhibition both serves and negates performance as the experience of live bodies in front of an audience. By way of virtual bodies, as seen in photographs and thus as records of memory, Veterans disturbs the idea of performance as a live act. A double hindsight reveals itself in the performance-document; the first is from the perspective of the viewer looking at the veterans’ backs, and the second is from the perspective of the veterans. Although the viewer cannot know where the veterans’ gazes are directed, it is possible to imagine that they are not looking at the floor or the wall but inward, remembering their experiences of war.
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source: bombsite

Santiago Sierra’s work generates vitriol and enthusiasm in equal amounts. Known for his controversial installations in which hired laborers perform useless tasks in white-cube spaces—masturbate, crouch in cardboard boxes, have their hair dyed blond, sit for tattoos, hold up a heavy block of wood—Sierra aims to unmask the power relations that keep workers invisible under capitalism.

He increasingly relies on techniques of obstruction and concealment, creating a variety of artificial barriers that point to real, if often unremarked, accessibility issues: immigrants’ persistent and imprisoning poverty; laborers’ disconnection from the work they do and from the product that is its ultimate result; everyone’s complicity in preserving the structures that keep classes and peoples separate. In 2000 he paid a man to live hidden behind a brick wall for 15 days, discovering in the process the heightened interest piqued by literal invisibility. In 2002 he celebrated the Lisson Gallery’s new space by blocking the entrance with a wall of corrugated metal, thoroughly offending opening-night visitors. His project for this summer’s Venice Biennale, for which he covered the word “España” on the Spanish Pavilion’s facade with black plastic and sealed the building’s entrance with cinderblocks, caused a similar outrage. Visitors who walked around to the back door and showed Spanish passports to the uniformed guards there were allowed to enter, but all they found in the pavilion were scattered remnants from the previous year’s installation.

Teresa Margolles shares Sierra’s preoccupation with the working class, but her work focuses on violence in Mexico City and often takes the form of human body parts or bodily materials scavenged from morgues. Often unclaimed victims of crime and poverty, Margolles’s “subjects” are posthumously persuasive about the desperation of their lives and, in pieces that involve walls of smeared fat and foggy rooms of evaporated water used to wash corpses, a bittersweet triumph of spirit.

Sierra and Margolles, arguably the two most controversial artists working in Mexico today, sat down in Madrid this fall to discuss dignity, fear, censorship and national boundaries.
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source: whoswhode

Santiago Sierra wurde 1966 in Madrid geboren.

Sierra studierte in Madrid, an der Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg von 1989 bis 1991 bei B. J. Blume und in Mexico-Stadt Kunst. Dort lebt er auch seit 1995. In der Kunstszene, aber auch der Öffentlichkeit wurde er bekannt für seine kritischen, radikalen, provokativen, konfrontierenden sowie auch umstrittenen Methoden und Darstellungen, mit denen er seine Aktionen und Installationen durchführt. Sierra widmet sich in seiner Arbeit politischen und sozialen sowie Gesellschafts- und Umweltthemen. In seinen Werken integriert er oft den Betrachter und seine Rolle zum Kunstwerk, die er häufig – in der traditionellen Verteilung von Subjekt und Objekt als Kunstwerk – aufhebt. So werden Reaktionen des Publikums selbst Teil des Kunstwerkes.

Santiago Sierra fertigte von seinen Aktionen und Installationen häufig Fotos oder Videofilme an, die zu Ausstellungen der Öffentlichkeit präsentiert werden. Aufmerksamkeit auf Verkehr und Umweltbelastung wollte der Künstler mit einer seiner früheren Aktionen wecken, als er 1998 in Mexiko-Stadt eine Kreuzung versperrte und damit den Verkehr zum Erliegen brachte. Drei Jahre später präsentierte er zur Eröffnung der Biennale in Venedig 133 Immigranten, die sich für 60 Dollar die Haare blond Färben ließen. Santiago Sierra wollte damit kritisch auf den Umgang mit Immigranten aufmerksam machen. Zu diesem Thema zählte auch 2002 die Aktion von Gibraltar in Spanien: Afrikanische Immigranten bezahlte er dafür, dass sie Erdlöcher aushoben.

Ein Jahr später veranlasste er an der Biennale in Venedig, dass der spanische Pavillon nur für diejenigen zugänglich war, die einen spanischen Pass vorlegen konnten. Höchst provokativ war sein “Projekt 345 Kubikmeter” 2006 in Stommeln nahe Köln. Dort leitete er in eine Synagoge Autoabgase. Auf diese Weise verwandelte er das jüdische Gotteshaus in eine Gaskammer. Santiago Sierra verfolgte damit die Absicht, vor einer stilisierenden Verharmlosung des Holocaustes zu warnen, aber auch vor dem instrumentalisierende Missbrauch von Schuldgefühlen. Die Aktion rief zahlreiche Proteste hervor, unter anderem vom Zentralrat der Juden, und führte schließlich zum vorzeitigen Abbruch.

Mit seinem Projekt “21 Anthropometric Modules made from Human Faeces by the People of Sulabh International, India” von 2007 kritisierte Sierra die Kunstbranche selbst. Zu Anfertigung ließ er Mitglieder der indischen Kaste der Unberührbaren mit Kot arbeiten. Für diesen unangenehmen Einsatz erhielten sie keine Entlohnung. Mit dem Verkauf des Kunstwerkes wollte Santiago Sierra zeigen, dass die Kunst selbst Arme der Ärmsten ausbeutet.
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source: bravonlineabril

Grande parte da produção do espanhol Santiago Sierra critica a exploração nos ambientes de trabalho. Em 2004, o artista contratou dois homens para se revezarem numa obra que causou polêmica na Cidade do México. Eles colocavam o braço num buraco aberto no teto da galeria. Quem a visitava se deparava apenas com o braço saindo de uma fenda. Cada um permaneceu no papel três horas por dia e recebeu um salário mínimo.
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source: crocodilianasblogspot

Santiago Sierra est né à Madrid en 1966, en Espagne, vit et travail au Mexique.
Son travail est presque toujours très polémique. Il pose de manière brutale la question du travail et de son exploitation à travers des performances, des installations, des photographies ou des vidéos. Pourtant, les ouvres sont très controverses, parce que, au-delà d’une critique du système, son travail, que se mettre à l’intérieur des ces dynamiques de l’exploitation capitaliste, touchent questions d’éthique au point de problématiser le limite et la possibilité de réalisation de ces performances que exploitent le valeur du travail humain.
Santiago Sierra construit des œuvres qui proposent une lecture du contexte géopolitique dans lequel il se produit. La polémique que ses œuvres engendrent questionne aussi les stigmates d’un pays et l’importance du rôle social de l’artiste.
Sierra paie pour les réfugiés, les travailleurs illégaux, prostituées ou
personnes sans-abri pour joue un rôle fixées. Répétitives, et souvent gênante
inutile, ces actions rémunérées sont sévères encore métaphores poétiques pour le monde moderne.
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source: ndrde

Santiago Sierra, 1966 in Madrid geboren, markiert einen Epochenwandel: Das Zeitalter der Beschwichtigung, der political correctness, des tagespolitischen Opportunismus ist für ihn an seinem Ende angekommen, auch in der Kunst. Das übersichtliche Leben wird in seinem Werk von der nackten globalen Wirklichkeit eingeholt.
Sierras Kunst ist hart und kompromisslos. Ohne Empathie inszeniert er den alltäglichen, millionenfachen Schmerz wie er in Billiglohnländern herrscht, wie er Teil des Lebens bei Unterbeschäftigung, Flucht und Prostitution ist.