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The wall of a gallery pulled out, inclined sixty degrees from the ground and sustained by five people (2000)

Santiago Sierra

Mexico-based artist Santiago Sierra is best known for his highly controversial pieces that focus on the difficulties of capitalist economics and its social dynamics. Sierra has often been accused of exploiting the protagonists of his pieces when he asks them to perform often rather dangerous of humiliating tasks for very low wages. For his piece Remunerated for a Period of 360 Consecutive Hours (2000) at the P.S. 1 Center for Contemporary Art in New York, he asked someone to live behind a wall in the exhibition space for 15 days, 24 hours a day. An even more degrading piece was 160cm line tattooed on four people, which he made in 2000 for an exhibition in Spain. Four drug-addicted prostitutes were hired to get a simple line tattooed on as Sierra’s work is understood as an exploitative and cynical gesture, it is in fact a highly critical reaction to the hard realities of the capitalist system, particularly in Latin America where money can apparently buy anything. The wall of a gallery pulled out, inclined sixty degrees from the ground and sustained by five people was presented in 2000 in a gallery in Mexico City. A wall was taken out of its place and, over five days, four workers held it up for five hours, at exactly 60º from the ground, while a fifth worker made sure that the inclination was correct. Each of the workers received around US$65.

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