Opening 14.09.2021 at 6.00 p.m.
15.09 - 20.10.2021
critic text by Luis Navarro
PROMETEO GALLERY Ida Pisani
Via G. Ventura 6 - Via Massimiano (space 2), 20134 Milano
On 14 September 2021, in the second venue of Prometeo Gallery Ida Pisani (in via Ventura 6, Milan), opens Words, the new solo show by Santiago Sierra (Madrid, 1966), with whom the Milanese gallery has collaborated over the years.
Five years after the Spanish artist's last exhibition project, The Through (2016), in the spaces of Prometeo, the gallery together with Sierra created a historical focus -from 2002 onwards-, which brings together works in which his keywords are visible. Kapitalism, Future, Klassenkampf, SOS, Sumisión, and especially the NO of Sierra -protagonist of a global tour-, are some of the words, in various languages, that have marked the career and works of an artist radically deployed in the defense of dignity of man and work.
The power of words has its own materiality, its weight, and helps to make people aware of their condition and their struggle. As Luis Navarro notes in his text accompanying the exhibition: «It is often said that "a picture is worth a thousand words". The image is perceived at a glance, is easy to remember, has greater emotional power, arouses different interpretations and leaps over different languages. Unlike many conceptual artists, whose work is based on convoluted textual manoeuvres, Santiago Sierra has always resisted explaining his works, which are built on the assumptions of minimalism, preferring that they unfold their meaning, even beyond their ironic titles, in the encounter with the viewer's gaze».
Sierra's words become as powerful as and more than the image depicting their materialization, in wood, metal, sand dug or woven onto the harnesses of stray dogs in Athens.
«Many of Sierra's works -writes Navarro- break down these defined boundaries by imprinting on words the power of the image or by involving them in different kinds of action. He thus shows us that words are things among things: they have their own materiality, they themselves produce and undergo effects and events. It also shows us that words have a great hidden power, since they shape the world as we know it by acting on consciousness. And it shows us above all that, in their plasticity, words are weapons in what today has been codified as "cultural warfare", consisting of the appropriation of signs and referents and their self-interested manipulation».
The artist is one of the best known on the international scene. He has exhibited in prestigious museums and institutions such as: MoMA PS1, New York; Reykjavik Art Museum; ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz; MADRE Museum, Naples; 50th Venice Biennale; Tate Modern, London. In recent years he has started the traveling project of the No, Global Tour which has touched various stages around the world, from Italy to Japan, passing through Europe and the American continent. He participated in the First Kochi-Muziris Biennial in India.