BRUTUS Space in Rotterdam is set to unveil “Pilot,” an exhibition featuring three significant works by Spanish artist Santiago Sierra. The exhibition aims to spark conversations around societal inequality, control mechanisms, and the underlying economic systems. It will be open from September 2 to November 19, 2023.
Santiago Sierra's Artistic Endeavors
Three major works by Santiago Sierra (1966) will be displayed. Known for his art that oscillates between social sculpture, performance, and political activism, Sierra aims to provoke discussions on societal issues. The exhibition is intended as a precursor to a long-term collaboration between Sierra and BRUTUS Space.
The Works on Display
The exhibition will showcase “Paintings Made by a Fire Breather”, consisting of 17 canvases created by a Mexican fire breather and stretched by a local artist. Captured on film, the canvases transcend mere records of fire damage and acquire aesthetic value, reminiscent of the minimalist art of the 1960s and 1970s.
Sierra's most recent work, “The Maelström,” will also be featured. For this piece, Sierra employed numerous Gambians to perform a series of basic movements taught by the police for arrests or frisks. Unlike Bruce Nauman's “Walking” videos, the Gambians perform these movements with their hands behind their heads or backs, often facing a wall or in a kneeling position.
Sierra's art has regularly been deemed controversial. His third work to be displayed, “245m3 (part I and II),” involved filling a former synagogue in Pulheim, Germany, with car exhaust fumes. Visitors could walk through the space wearing gas masks, evoking industrial and institutional death. The work also alludes to the Holocaust gas chambers, adding layers of meaning and interpretation.
About Santiago Sierra
Sierra is known for performances that employ unskilled workers to perform seemingly pointless tasks. By labelling these activities as 'art,' Sierra changes the way we perceive them, highlighting the economic systems that enable such 'services' to be purchased.
Directions to BRUTUS Space
BRUTUS Space is located in the heart of Rotterdam, easily accessible by public transport. The area is vibrant, filled with other art galleries, cafés, and boutiques.