Sculpture, Photography, Film
The Kunsthalle Tübingen tempts viewers with the Spanish provocateur Santiago Sierra
As one can read on the Kunsthalle Tübingen’s latest exhibition poster, entrance is strictly prohibited for untidy and smelly people, smokers, alcoholics, drug addicts, and numerous other so-called marginalized groups. Nothing is more exciting than the forbidden. What is in store for us at the Kunsthalle Tübingen? Santiago Sierra is the name of the provocateur from Spain whose sculptural work is currently being presented there in his first retrospective. Indeed, he is no unknown person on the international art scene. In 2003, visitors to the Venice Biennale were taken aback when they stood in front of the walled-in entrance to the Spanish Pavilion. While it may have been possible to access it through a rear entranceonly the holders of a Spanish passport were allowed to do so! He became notorious in Germany in 2006 when he introduced automobile exhaust fumes into the former synagogue in Stommeln near Cologne. The artists, who works with Minimalist means, is invariably concerned with the drastic visualization of structural injustices in our economic system. In doing so, he does not shy away from turning himself into an offender: on display at the Kunsthalle are twenty rectangular blocks he had made by Indian untouchables out of human feceswithout pay! Don’t worry: it doesn’t smell, because it has been sealed with synthetic resin. One of the exhibition spaces is coated with mud: a reconstruction of the exhibition at the Kestnergesellschaft Hannover that Sierra had filled up with brown peat and mudin memory of the laborers who dug the Maschsee with spades within the scope of National Socialist job-creation measures. Anyone coming to the Kunsthalle before June 16, 2013, can look forward to enjoying these and other surprises.
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