Santiago Sierra: Destroyed Word, 2010

Action #1


Saturday 30 October 2010
12:00 pm Destruction film programme
2:00 pm Santiago Sierra live action


At the field facing Kungsladugården,
Toftavägen 20, Visby. Near the Oscar
Stone monument outside Visby

BAC invites to a unique live action, Destroyed Word, by the internationally acknowledged Spanish artist Santiago Sierra.

The event is the first action as part of a new work by Sierra, who has been invited by BAC to work within the framework of the ongoing project Destruction-in-Residence.

The event involves the destruction of a 3.6 meters tall, concrete letter (M) erected by the artist in a field just outside Visby city centre. The project will be continued by Sierra beyond the initial event in Visby, as he carries out a total of ten similar actions at different locations around the world, each offering the destruction of a new letter. While the action in Visby will involve an intense physical and sonic experience, it is only along the way, as the coming actions accumulate into a global phenomenon, that the full meaning of the project will reveal itself…

Destruction and its paradoxical relationship to production play a pivotal role in the work of Sierra. From early works like 20 pieces of road measuring 100 x 100 cm pulled up from the ground (1992) and Gallery burnt with gasoline (1997) to the recent NO, Global Tour (2009-10) Sierra has – amongst other things – cut up roads and floors, burnt buildings, obstructed traffic, removed walls and windows, scratched cars, tattooed people, displayed rotting vegetables and made sculptures out of human faeces when producing his work. At the centre of his practice lies the notion of wage labour as the main destructive component in relation to the human body and mind under capitalist production.

The artist’s use of concrete in Destroyed Word resonates particularly within the context of Gotland. Apart from concrete being one of the materials that causes most environmental destruction globally through its processes of production and use in the building industry, cement production – a key component of concrete – is also one of the main industries on Gotland. Having contributed greatly to the economic development of Gotland, the cement industry has simultaneously made a major environmentally destructive mark on the island, leaving it perforated by the gaping holes of lime quarries, some now defunct and abandoned, others currently active.

Destruction-in-Residence is a series of acts, works and discussions on the concept of destruction initiated by BAC as part of its inquiry into the conditions of contemporary art production.

This event will be accompanied by a film programme elaborating on the topic of destruction including films by Hollis Frampton, Gustav Metzger, Ewa Partum and Carolee Schneemann. Advisor Mike Sperlinger, LUX.

The project is supported by Stiftelsen Framtidens kultur. BAC is generously funded by the Gotland Municipality and the Swedish Arts Council and the event is realised in collaboration with LEVA Kungslador, PA-kompaniet AB, Betongindustri AB, Visby Cementvaru AB and Film Gotland.

Sound advisor: Carl Michael von Hausswolf

For more information about Santiago Sierra please visit