Santiago Sierra at Lisson Gallery London
14 July - 26 August 2017
27 Bell Street, London
For the past two decades, Santiago Sierra has carried out provocative actions around the world. Known for his politically and socially charged work, Sierra returns to Lisson Gallery London to debut a large-scale, site-specific installation.
After studying Fine Arts in Madrid, Sierra moved to Hamburg as a guest of the
Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK). It was there that he first became
enthralled with the serialised arrangements of industrial containers while
wondering around the harbour area of the city and where he also encountered a
large community of immigrants and the mass displacement of foreigners for the
first time. Influenced by the formal language of the Minimal and Conceptual art
movements of the 1960s and '70s, Sierra then began making geometrical
structures using industrial materials to comment on ideas of physical
displacement and restricted access, particularly those posed by the borders of
nation-states, temporary settlements and military bases.
Transporting these concepts to an exhibition context – whether for Space closed by corrugated metal, Lisson Gallery, London, September 2002 (2002), where Sierra shuttered the newly opened Bell Street location of Lisson Gallery for three weeks, or at the Venice Biennale in 2003, where he built a cement wall across the Spanish Pavilion to block all visitors except for Spaniards – provides an effective strategy for highlighting the issues of separation, polarisation and fear present in contemporary society. His latest work, shown for the first time as part of this exhibition, continues these themes and once again incorporates industrial materials found in defense technology to create a site-specific installation: an impenetrable structure made of military razor wire.
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