Tag Archives: conceptual

Santiago Serra rejects the Spanish National Prize for Fine Arts 2011

9 Dec

Rejecting this prize, the artist makes another conceptual work of art that questions power relations.

Santiago Serra is known by his work representing Spain in the Biennale of Venice where he criticised the Spanish immigration policy. The artist, in the letter he sent to the Ministry shortly after being awarded the National Prize, appealed to his independence and rejected being instrumentalised by the government. This opinion goes along the concept of questioning power relations that was behind his latest works. Examples of this are the exhibition in Venice where anybody who wanted to enter and see the Spanish Pavilion had to show a Spanish ID, or the project “NO, Global Tour” where a huge NO was travelling throughout the world as a enormous visual opposition to the “establishment”.

In the letter to the Minister of Culture Gonzalez-Sinde, he defends his position arguing that art has given him a freedom that he is not willing to renounce. Therefore, to be consequent with his values, he has to reject this award. He believes this prize instrumentalises the prestige of the awarded in the interest of the State.