From September 7, 2013 through January 12, 2014, Deichtorhallen Hamburg is showing the largest retrospective to date of the sculptural, photographic and filmic oeuvre of Spanish artist Santiago Sierra (born in Madrid in 1966). The exhibition was curated by Dirk Luckow and comprises over 70 works. Sierra is internationally renowned for his provocative performances. It is hard to imagine another European artist whose works are the subject of more controversy, whose oeuvre has elicited such protests. In his work, Sierra’s subject of choice is the structural violence imposed by political and economic systems.

Sierra confronts viewers with an external reality where economic exploitation, low wages, self-prostitution and blocking out the past are the order of the day: “My work champions lives destroyed by capitalism. And for me, capitalism is sadism’s economic weapon of choice.” Sierra’s art not only represents an attack on the unfair distribution of wealth and on inhumane working conditions, but he also and primarily uses it to criticize the positive image of work that is dominant within capitalist society.

The exhibition at Sammlung Falckenberg provides viewers with insights into Sierra’s development with, among other things, his minimalism and concept art. In fact, most of his works are relicts of past performances. Sierra’s work is characterized by clear announcements in the style of a movie director. This starts with his photographic or filmic documentation, which lacks real photographic or filmic aesthetics. Sierra’s large-format, black-and-white photographs are often coarse-grained and document his performances, which are generally public. What also associates Sierra with artists such as Joseph Beuys, Richard Serra and Franz Erhard Walther is his sculptural aesthetics.

read more




Zur Ausstellung ist der umfangreiche Katalog »SANTIAGO SIERRA − SKULPTUR, FOTOGRAFIE, FILM« erschienen. Mit einem Vorwort von Daniel Schreiber und Dirk Luckow sowie Texten von Miriam Schoofs, Carlos Jiménez und Juan Albáran. Herausgegeben von Dirk Luckow und Daniel Schreiber. 174 Seiten, gebunden mit zahlreichen s/w-Abbildungen, deutsch/englisch. Snoeck Verlag, 2013. 39,80 Euro.