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Santiago Sierra Show all photos
Santiago Sierra Show all photos
Santiago Sierra Show all photos
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Santiago Sierra:

PIGS DEVOURING THE ITALIAN PENINSULA

From 19 April to 19 May 2024

Space Revolution

Space Revolution

Piazza della Rivoluzione, 9, Palermo

Closed today: open Thursday at 18:00

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Santiago Sierra returns to exhibit at Spazio Revolution with a video performance of the PIGS series.

The PIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain), later renamed PIIGS; then PIIGGS, with the addition of Ireland and Great Britain, are those states which, starting from the 1990s, began to tangibly expose themselves to the risk of default. The acronym, conceived by journalistic criticism and even anagrammed as GISPI, left no room for false interpretations, so much so that it was strongly criticized for its racist and derogatory nature. Starting in 2012, Santiago Sierra gave substance to the image by transforming countries such as Italy, Greece or Spain into a large trough, literally devoured by a herd of pigs. Yesterday as today, the message remains strong and unchanged. In fact, in recent decades we have not witnessed a real economic and social evolution, where there was an attempt, this was busily suppressed by political maneuvers that were, to say the least, reckless. Added to this picture, already dramatic in itself, is a worrying cultural involution fueled by blind and ignorant populist policies, which love to reward less than virtuous conduct in the light of electoral gain. Perpetually threatened by the specter of economic recession, Italy seems to be experiencing a slow agony. Politics, kneeling before the interests of the powerful, exploits the poorest segment of the country, deluding them into having a voice when, in fact, the most basic of subsistence is taken away from them.


In an increasingly growing form, a violent neo-fascist drift is advancing, while in the south, historically abandoned by the institutions, more margin seems to be left for crime in an attempt not to chip away at a well-rooted system of clientelism. But if the PIGS can be considered the result of unhealthy and short-sighted policies, these are nothing more than the sounding board of a citizenry that is complicit or, even worse, addicted to abuse. These are countries that are facing the progression of a complex financial crisis without adequate tools, often caused by a wicked and incompetent policy, mostly aimed at the older part of the country, too concentrated in the present and not very open to advancing generations. Maintaining privileges and centralizing wealth generates immobility and undermines possible development. Igniting critical thinking, therefore, is equivalent to removing necrotic tissue, to re-oxygenating the social conscience. This is the commitment of the work of Santiago Sierra and Spazio Revolution, an independent space and therefore by its nature free and incorruptible. Santiago Sierra's work does not, however, want to be an absolution from our sins. We should not feel lighter in thinking that those pigs represent only politicians, since the wounds inflicted come from us too. From this experience we must keep in mind that we too can be those ravenous pigs... that we too can mercilessly devour and digest, in the deafening silence of our indifference, that hope for a better future for this beautiful country of ours.

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