‘Political prisoners’ artwork to go on display in Lleida
The exhibit featuring jailed Catalan leaders pulled from Madrid art fair last week to be shown in Lleida Museum until April 22
The artwork that included Catalan independence leaders held in prison that was pulled from the ARCO art fair in Madrid last week is to go on display in Lleida Museum.
Santiago Sierra’s controversial artwork 'Political prisoners in contemporary Spain' was bought by Lleida businessman Tatxo Benet soon before it was removed, with Benet later expressing his intention of making sure everyone has a chance to see the work. "What happened in ARCO is fortunately a thing of the past. The point now is for the political prisoners to be released and for cultural workers to stop being persecuted," said Sierra.
The exhibit will go on display on Wednesday, March 7 at 6pm, and can be seen in the museum’s temporary exhibition room until April 22.
The artwork is made up of 24 black and white photographs of "political prisoners" in Spain, with their facial features pixelated. Among the people featured is dismissed Catalan vice president, Oriol Junqueras, and the heads of two pro-independence grassroots organisations, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart.
Spanish artist Santiago Sierra lives and works in Madrid, and his work has been shown in a number of major galleries and museums. In 2010, Sierra was awarded Spain’s National Plastic Arts Prize “for his critical work that reflects on the exploitation and exclusion of people and generates debate on power structures.” However, Sierra rejected the prize the next day, with a letter addressed to Spain’s culture minister in which he criticized the state.