Traveling ‘NO’ Sculpture Outside Icelandic Parliament Skip to content

Traveling ‘NO’ Sculpture Outside Icelandic Parliament

A controversial Spanish Artist, Santiago Sierra, launched a series of performance acts in Reykjavík on Monday when he stationed a truck carrying a giant sculpture spelling ‘NO’ outside the Icelandic parliament, Alþingi, shortly before it reconvened after the holidays.


A demonstration outside the Icelandic parliament after the banking collapse in 2008. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.

After a while, the sculpture was moved to the headquarters of the bank Landsbanki in the city center where it remained for an hour and a half, Morgunblaðið reports.

Sierra opens an exhibition at the Reykjavík Art Museum Hafnarhús building on Friday evening, January 20, and his sculpture will travel between locations until then.

The date of opening is no coincidence because three years earlier a historical demonstration took place on Austurvöllur square in front of the parliament where thousands of protestors called for the government to step down—it collapsed shortly afterwards.

The ‘NO’ sculpture is three meters high and weighs approximately 1.5 tons. All the places outside which it will be located are connected with the artist’s critique of a capitalistic economy and the banking collapse in Iceland in 2008.

The sculpture is part of Sierra’s ‘NO, Global Tour’ which has been ongoing since 2009 when it first appeared in Lucca, Italy.

The tour, which is among the artist’s larger projects, was filmed—as is also currently the case—and screened at the Berlin Film Festival last year.

At Sierra’s exhibition in Hafnarhús the complete collection of all his documentaries and video installations, 51 items in total, will be displayed for the first time, many of which are highly controversial and strictly off limits for children.

Last weekend Reykjavík Art Museum published a paid short-time job proposal for a new performance act by Sierra. Current or former employees of financial institutions “who feel guilty about their participation in the current economic situation” can apply.

Soffía Karlsdóttir, marketing director and public relations officer at Reykjavík Art Museum, told Morgunblaðið on Monday that no one had responded as yet.

The exhibition will run until April 15.


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