Radical (Dis)Identification: Santiago Sierra's Double(D) Spectator

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This article explores how Santiago Sierra's artistic practice undoes the stable identification of the viewer by placing him or her in the double position of master and slave, employer and employee, at the same time. The author posits that Sierra's works double the spectator's position of power and make visible the existence in the present of past hierarchical constructions ostensibly surmounted. Contrary to Claire Bishop's interpretation of Sierra's work – which rests on a ‘mutual moment of non-identification’ between hired performers and audience members – the article argues that in his practice there is also the possibility for the audience to identify with his hired performers as well as with Sierra as employer. The article investigates how Sierra's works force us to realise how, as contemporary economic subjects, we operate as hiring individuals – of others’ bodies – and at the same time are individuals – bodies – for hire.

Original Citation

Montenegro Rosero, A.D. (2015). Radical (Dis)Identification: Santiago Sierra's Double(D) Spectator. Third Text, 29(6), 487-497. https://doi.org/10.1080/09528822.2016.1187875