Gabriel Sierra | Renaissance Society | Galleries | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: May 3-June 28 2015
Bogotá-based artist Gabriel Sierra's new site-specific exhibition at the Renaissance Society is his first solo exhibition in the United States. Technically, it's eight exhibitions: it changes every hour in title and in concept. The transformations require constant attention not just from gallery staff, who change the title cards, but also from patrons, who are asked to engage in thoughtful interactions with a set of temporary structures according to a specific set of instructions. The hourly changes put visitors on an intimate, exclusive basis with each exhibition and encourages multiple visits. The provided instructional pamphlet written by Sierra has a humorous yet earnest feel, with illustrations of simplistic stick figures demonstrating how one should act in each of the 14 spatial interventions. (The structures remain the same, but the context changes every hour.) For example, one of the instructions for set number ten—for interacting with a raised platform covered with gravel—explains, "Walk for 10 minutes thinking of the outdoors while you are indoors." By cooperating with Sierra you, the viewer, become the final element in each piece; the artwork is incomplete until a human intervention activates the static structure. All but one of the provided instructions are humanly possible to follow. The exception is for work number five: it instructs two visitors to stare into each other's eyes without blinking for a full ten minutes. This inclusion of the impossible is a slight nudge by Sierra giving us permission to depart from his instructions and interpret each exhibition for ourselves. —Kate Sierzputowski

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