Santiago Sierra’s Black Flag project
The Spanish artist Santiago Sierra planted a black flag at the North Pole on April 13, 2015. Eight months later, on December 14 that year—exactly 104 years after the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen arrived—sierra planted an identical flag at the South Pole. Symbols of the anarchist movement, the monochrome flags were raised in solidarity with indigenous communities who have had their lands and oceans plucked from them in the name of sovereign expansion and annexation. “By placing two flags in the ground, one at each pole, I’m covering the whole world,” Sierra says. “All the space comprised between the flags is affected symbolically. So we occupy the world with the anarchist flag.” The flags remain in situ, while the first exhibition documenting the project, including photographs, sound recordings and replicas of the flags, opened at the Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen on August 20 last year and ran until November 13. There are plans for the show to visit Havana, Liverpool and Svalbard.