from the guardian art & architecture blog
Next on the agenda is Santiago Sierra’s 4000 Black Posters: a blackout of all “available” advertising hoardings around Shoreditch and Brick Lane. The gallery remains tight-lipped about whether the sites have been negotiated for use, begging the question exactly what constitutes activism in the post-Banksy era. In this case though it doesn’t really matter: Sierra’s act of silencing quotidian information is designed to highlight the exploitative power of signage, revealing how little of the public realm is ours to use. The fact that the artist may have had to buy the right to freedom of expression merely makes the gesture more poignant.
Who can say what proportion of the public will become perplexed enough by such works to ask questions about the development of our civic spaces and our rights within them. But as reminders, however implicit, of what social protest has and continues to mean in London, they offer critically engaging perspectives from which to start.
Sierra is brilliant and I wish I could be there to see it. Especially ‘cos loads of my ad peeps are in EC1. I’d love to see W&K London black out their windows in sympathy.. or hypocrisy… or something.