Political prisoners in Contemporary Spain

imatge difusio sierra br01.09.2018 – 16.09.2018
Exhibition by Santiago Sierra

, Saturday 1st September at 7 pm 
in ACVic Centre d'Arts Contemporànies (Sant Francesc, 1 Vic)

[view program]

The installation Political prisoners in Contemporary Spain consists of 24 black and white photographs of pixelated faces which refer to 74 political prisoners from very different groups and positions. Sierra’s work, withdrawn from the ARCO fair of 2018.

Santiago Sierra says "What we propose through this series of photographs which we published last year on an ongoing basis, is to make visible the existence of these political prisoners in Spain, in spite of what is maintained institutionally. No particular ideology is focused upon, since it is a matter of demonstrating that political prisoners in contemporary Spain include a wide range of political positions, especially of the left; but very clear selection criteria have been followed: people jailed for trying to make their ideas public and effective without resorting to any kind of violence. Surely not all are here, but through this selection of very clear examples we wish to call attention to the fact that they exist, and to denounce not only obsolete laws and their biased application, but above all, the social alienation which allows and justifies this reality, and which looks the other way ". 

Santiago Sierra
lives and works in Madrid. Sierra's oeuvre strives to reveal the perverse networks of power that inspire the alienation and exploitation of workers, the injustice of labour relations, the unequal distribution of wealth produced by capitalism, the deviance of work and money, and racial discrimination in a world scored with unidirectional (south-north) migratory flows.

Revisiting and refiguring certain strategies characterising the Minimalist, Conceptual and Performance Art of the 1960s and 70s, Sierra interrupts flows of capital and goods (Obstruction of Freeway With a Truck’s Trailer, 1998; Person Obstructing a Line of Containers, 2009); he hires labourers to reveal their precarious circumstances (20 Workers in a Ship’s Hold, 2001); he explores the mechanisms of racial segregation derived from economic inequalities (Hiring and Arrangement of 30 Workers in Relation to Their Skin Color, 2002; Economical Study of The Skin of Caracans, 2006); and refutes the stories that legitimate a democracy based on state violence (Veterans of the Wars of Cambodia, Rwanda, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq Facing the Corner, 2010–2; Los encargados, 2012).


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