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 that continues the artist’s interest in borders and displacement. Titled Impenetrable Structure, the grid-like installation is constructed out of military razor wire, similar to what is used to create security perimeters between countries and in war zones. The work fills the entire gallery space of 27 Bell Street, entered by visitors only one at a time, creating an environment in which access is restricted or entirely denied.
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 issues 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 truly impenetrable structure.
|14 July 2017 - 26 August 2017
|Monday–Friday, 10am–6pm Saturday, 11am–5pm
|Lisson Gallery (27 Bell St)
|27 Bell Street, London, NW1 5BY
|4402077242739 / email@example.com / www.lissongallery.com