santiago sierra

Line Tattoo Background Summary

Sometimes the artworks that we see makes us question if the artist behind the work is insane, seriously. We have cans of doodoo selling at astrological figures, dead animals place in tanks as installations, and they call them all art. The thing is though, if you have tried hard enough to understand what they are trying to convey, these supposing grotesque items become the smartest vehicle for unspoken ideas. Santiago Sierra has got to be one of those insane artist that never fails to give me an intellectual roller- coaster ride. Out of all the mind challenging works he has created, I present a brief explanation on his 160 cm Line Tattooed on 4 People … video piece. Tattooing a line across 4 prostitutes who have agreed to have the action done by being paid a shot of heroine, Sierra highlights the exploitation of labour in our society. He raises the question of what is ethical, what is individual freedom, and the power of the economical system on the community. I remember seeing this piece during my post modernism lecture and jaw dropped to the idea. A simple gesture hides such immense issues, illustrating how much drive a pure desire produces within one to undertake a non desired action. The line itself doesn’t mean anything, and its sad to see that most people stop their sight there; because the artist not only am challenging the audiences to reflect why those 4 individuals would agree to the idea, but also how the corruption in our society fosters the hopelessness of certain groups of individuals, allowing this project to even take place.