Santiago Sierra, “The Penetrated“ (2008)

From We Make Money, Not Art:

On October 12th, 2008, Sierra shot The Penetrated, a series of photographs and a 45 min video in 8 Acts.

Couples are geometrically arranged into compositions of up to 110 bodies with two colours. The Acts feature the various possible combinations of penetrator/penetrated: white man-white woman, white man-white man, white man-black woman, white man-black man, black man-black woman, black man-black man, black man-white woman, black man-white man. The persons’ faces have been digitally erased to accentuate the modular character of the actors. A mirror set at an angle behind the actors multiplies the couples and the viewpoints.

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I think I am personally too blase about this stuff to find it particularly shocking. But who would volunteer for this art work. That to me is the more curious question and I would be interested in hearing all of their motivations for participating.

4 responses to “Santiago Sierra, “The Penetrated“ (2008)”

  1. What is supposed to be the point of this photograph? Finding the people to pose would be easy. We live in a society that wanted its 15 minutes of fame.

  2. I just came across your post as I was searching for other Sierra works. I have never heard of this particular piece before, but I know that in most cases, Sierra PAYS participants, which adds a whole other debate to this work. Most of his works are intended to create “mini-economies”, that at least I see as a commentary on capitalism, in regards to workshops, labor workers, etc…

    It would be very interesting to find out if these participants were paid or not, but Louisya is right, he wouldn’t have to hard of a time finding willing participants.

  3. *update*
    I just read that these were PAID actors. Slightly different then his common use of prostitutes, drug addicts or imigrants, but absolutely (i belive) the same affect

  4. Yes, he pays people, but often times he pays them according to crazy standards that don’t add up to the work/sacrifice the participant engages in. Example.. he will pay junkies in heroine to get a line shaved in their hair or get a tattoo or something.

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