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The interior of the Spanish Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale, held this past summer, was accessible only to the Spanish public, and then only upon presentation of an official national identification card. Persons lacking this national status were refused entry. No audience witnessed the performance held in the space on May 1st, in which an old woman wearing a black hood was paid to sit silently still on a stool for an hour. In this manner, Santiago Sierra, the artist chosen to represent Spain, did as he often does in his work: he used live human beings, both witting and unwitting, to highlight the problematic nature of our global capitalist economy. In this volume we find documentation and texts on this and other works made over the past decade, including such performances as Line of 30 cm Tattooed on a Remunerated Person (Mexico City, 1998), 8 People Paid to Remain Inside Cardboard Boxes (Guatemala City, 1999) and 3 People Paid to Lay Still Inside 3 Boxes During a Party (Havana, 2000).
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