Santiago Sierra - Veterans (2011-13)
Local war veterans stand facing the walls of various museums and galleries in a two-year tour of performances.
“Sierra’s staged action, which mimics the common children’s punishment, can be seen as a representation of guilt and forced contemplation by an absent, invisible transgressor. Conversely, however, one may recognize the veteran’s occupation of the gallery as an act of silent protest. Silent, static and facing away from the viewer, the veterans continue Sierra’s complex use of negation to make visible opaque social situations. While remaining anonymous, each veteran brings reality and specificity into the viewer’s general perceptions of war and those who carry out its actions. The presence of the veteran references the relationship between power and guilt as well as the distance between the often cryptic political motives that lead to war and the experiences of those directly affected by its consequences.”