artist / participant

press release

NO, Global Tour by Santiago Sierra is the story of a journey through the First World that started in July 2009. It tells how a large sculpture consisting of the simple and forceful word “NO” has travelled through different countries and across continents placed on a platform on the back of a lorry. On this occasion, the sculpture has come to ARTIUM to be located at the entrance of the Museum. It is a structure made of black marine plywood, 3.20 metres high and 4 metres wide and weighs a total of half a ton. When visitors go into the exhibition area, they will find the word “No” everywhere. There is an enormous anamorphosis painted on the floor and the walls show repeated images of the “No” sculptures included in the exhibition, thus increasing their impact. On crossing the hall visitors can enter a tiny cinema and enjoy watching the world premiere (in an art gallery) of the film that Santiago Sierra has made about the project. The film is about a minimalist sculpture but also about a journey and has some of the characteristics of a road movie. It is about a shape and a word in constant movement and its journey through financial districts, industrial zones and working-class neighbourhoods and to emblematic buildings all over Europe, Canada and the USA. The “NO” started its long journey in Lucca (Italy) and then went to Berlin, where it visited residential, industrial and mining areas all over the former German Democratic Republic. After that the sculpture was taken to emblematic buildings in many cities, including Dortmund, Rotterdam, Maastricht, Brussels, London and Greenwich. From Greenwich it was shipped across the ocean to New York, where it took part in the Performa 09 festival and visited Wall Street, the United Nations Building, the Rockefeller Centre and other tourist attractions. After that the sculpture left for Miami where it took part in the Art Basel show. It was then driven to Washington where it said “NO” at the Katzen Arts Centre in the American University Museum of Art. Another “NO” was constructed in Toronto and presented during the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche event, after which it started off for the USA, where it visited the cities of Hamilton, Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh always stopping in industrial zones and working-class neighbourhoods. A third “NO” was constructed in Lucca early in 2010. From there it set off for Livorno, where it said “NO” at the funeral of a group of immigrants. Then it went to Genoa leaving the port for Monte Carlo, where it stopped at the Prince of Monaco’s Palace and the Casino. From there it travelled to the neighbouring Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and went on to Marseilles, where it visited oil refineries and a military arms factory. After that it was taken to Montpellier, Lourdes and finally to Madrid, where it attended the ARCO fair. Then it travelled to Japan to participate in the Aichi Triennale, following which it came back to Europe to visit Katowice in Poland. Visitors walking back across the anamorphosis as they leave the exhibition will come upon a series of twenty photographs showing various scenes from the journey and featuring the “NO” sculpture. The first and last thing that visitors see is the marble “NO” that was constructed for the International Sculpture Biennale at Carrara in 2010 and purchased by ARTIUM this year. The action that the artist will carry out on the day of the inauguration will consist of covering it in Vaseline!

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Santiago Sierra
NO, Global Tour