March 13, 2006

Spanish performance artist turns a synagogue into a gas chamber and invites Germans in.

Maybe you've forgotten to think very much about performance art lately. Along comes Santiago Sierra to help you get excited about that moribund art form all over again:
Sierra, known internationally for his controversial work, led hoses from the exhaust pipes of six parked cars into the building in the town of Pulheim-Stommeln near Cologne to create lethal levels of carbon monoxide there.

Around 200 visitors who lined up for the first gassing session on Sunday had to sign a declaration that they were aware of the risks before being allowed in wearing a breathing apparatus and accompanied by a fireman....

Sierra, 39, who lives in Mexico, was not present at the start and could not be reached for comment. He said in a statement distributed outside the synagogue that he was trying to counter the "trivialization of our memory of the Holocaust."
He was trying to counter the trivialization of our memory of the Holocaust. Don't you get it? Oh, sure, we get it. The artist is not hard to understand. What's hard to understand is the 200 Germans who were all where do I line up for the gas chamber.

12 comments:

Dave said...

Performance "art" is a crock of shit.

SMGalbraith said...

The banality of evil, indeed.

SMG

Gaius Arbo said...

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity....

Jeremy said...

From the article:

Author Ralph Giordano, who survived the Holocaust, told German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk radio: "I would resist calling Santiago Sierra an artist, at least in this context. I see no art in this tasteless project."

Indeed

XWL said...

Dave, it's the other way around, A crock of shit is 'performance art'.

And what Santiago Sierra has done falls well below the parameters of art, performance art, or even shit.

AlaskaJack said...

Moribund "art" is right. But how in the hell did it ever get to be called "art" in the first place??

vbspurs said...

What's hard to understand is the 200 Germans who were all where do I line up for the gas chamber.

This about a people who queued up online for miles, in order to be filmed being eaten alive by a cannibal.

I'm half-German. Trust me. We're nuts.

Cheers,
Victoria (Half-Nuts)

vbspurs said...

Dave, it's the other way around, A crock of shit is 'performance art'.

*LOL*

...although, gosh I don't know how to say this, but I actually rather liked this "stunt" by Sierra.

Perhaps not liked, but understood it for the sheer lunatic impact it was intended to make.

It seems to have a point which an icicle might envy.

Cheers,
Victoria

MadisonMan said...

..although, gosh I don't know how to say this, but I actually rather liked this "stunt" by Sierra.

I also liked it. Maybe "like" isn't the right word, but I appreciated its complete and utter tastelessness.

jeff said...

When I was stationed in Germany, the tear gas chamber we went to for our yearly certifications of our protective masks was on a German Air Base.

I seemed to be the only person in the unit to catch the irony.

vbspurs said...

I seemed to be the only person in the unit to catch the irony.

That's why you were Private First Class!

Cheers,
Victoria

(MadisonMan: Not sure I found it tastelessly funny, so much as hauntingly masochistic, but hey)

vvoi said...

i liked the work. (wrote more about it on my blog)