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20 Pieces of Road Measuring 100 × 100 cm Pulled Up From the Ground, 1992

Galería Ángel Romero. Madrid, Spain

A construction company specializing in roadworks was asked to pull the road up in rectangular blocks each measuring 100 x 100 cm. At first it was necessary to negotiate this project, not only with the construction company, but with the workers themselves, having them pull these pieces out in their entirety. Not all the 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 measurement of 100 x 100 cm were cut, leaving the remaining parts on the floor.

Santiago Sierra, 20 Pieces of Road Measuring 100 × 100 cm Pulled Up From the Ground, Galería Ángel Romero. Madrid, Spain, March 1992
Santiago Sierra, 20 Pieces of Road Measuring 100 × 100 cm Pulled Up From the Ground, Galería Ángel Romero. Madrid, Spain, March 1992
Santiago Sierra, 20 Pieces of Road Measuring 100 × 100 cm Pulled Up From the Ground, Galería Ángel Romero. Madrid, Spain, March 1992
Santiago Sierra, 20 Pieces of Road Measuring 100 × 100 cm Pulled Up From the Ground, Galería Ángel Romero. Madrid, Spain, March 1992
Santiago Sierra, 20 Pieces of Road Measuring 100 × 100 cm Pulled Up From the Ground, Installation view Falckenberg Collection Hamburg, 2013

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Santiago Sierra

Santiago Sierra's oeuvre stands out from the art history of the past 30 years like a massive black monolith. The Spaniard, who was born in 1966 and also lived in Latin America, knows like no other how to use the established forms and rules of contemporary art to give the violence and injustice of Western modernity a face - a face that is our own. The formal language of minimalism, in its distanced, cool way, is particularly suited to being short-circuited with the abstract economic and institutional apparatuses that bind people into the dehumanized conditions of production, migration, (self-)exploitation, and stigmatization. Those conditions, in other words, that guarantee the privileges of most of the viewers to whom Sierra's work addresses itself in the art world. Not everyone likes that. Sierra is the living shadow in the repressed bad conscience of power and money, with which people rule over people. His work has been honored institutionally many times, and in 2003 he represented Spain at the Venice Biennale.



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