Santiago Sierra’s Syrian In Memoriam

BY Katrina Kufer / May 21 2017 / 16:48 PM

The Spanish artist will hold an eight-day performance reciting the names of those killed in the Syrian conflict

Santiago Sierra’s Syrian In Memoriam
Image courtesy Bienal de Performance BP.17, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Santiago Sierra. Still from 2205 State Crimes. 2016. 120 minutes. Two native Arabic speakers read the names of those killed between 8 July and 26 August 2014 during Israel’s assault on Gaza.

From 21-29 May, in four cities on three continents, Sierra will instigate the performative reading THE NAMES OF THOSE KILLED IN THE SYRIAN CONFLICT, BETWEEN 15th OF MARCH 2011 AND 31st OF DECEMBER 2016.

While orchestrated by the Spanish artist, the readings will be performed by 16 native Arabic speakers in each locale, ranging from refugees to teachers. The names were gathered by the Grupo de Investigación sobre el Conflicto en Siria (GICS), led by Pedro Brieger, Professor of Sociology of the Middle East at the University of Buenos Aires.

“As a contemporary of this massacre I am inevitably connected to it,” Sierra told artnet News. “On the other hand, I am moved by a deep shame of being European and seeing the infamy with which those fleeing from Syria or from any other disaster are treated. The Mediterranean is a cemetery and Europe a cave of pirates.”

The live-streamed work will begin at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, on May 21 at 4 pm, and last for 48 hours. It will then move to Vienna’s Wiener Festwochen from 23-25 May onwards of 3pm, followed by London’s Lisson Gallery on 25-27 May from 2pm, and finish in Buenos Aires at the Bienal de Performance BP.17 on 27 May at 10am.

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