Controversial artist bringing ‘Torture’ to Derry

One of Andres Serrano's works.

One of Andres Serrano's works.

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A New York artist whose work has sparked controversy and debate in some parts of the world is set to bring his new work ‘Torture’ to a gallery in Derry.

Andres Serrano’s new project - which includes representations of the torture of the Hooded Men here - will be unveiled in an exhibition curated by Conor McFeely at Void Gallery on Patrick Street next month.

The work includes representations of the torture techniques used on the ‘Hooded Men’, as well as the harrowing methods used by the Nazis in Concentration Camps, the Stasi and those at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

The show is being presented by Void and a/political, with the artist to deliver a talk at 6,30pm on Saturday, October 8 in Derry prior to the exhibition launch the same evening.

A spokesperson for the show said: “Over the last year, in the French industrial town of Maubourguet, Andres Serrano has assumed the role of the torturer.

“Using The Foundry as his black-site, he photographed more than 40 models in improvised positions with devices produced on-site by local residents. Both mental and physical techniques were utilised with the participation of his subjects, under the guidance of a retired Commando from the French Special Forces,

“This Danse Macabre recalls and points us to images and sources as widespread as Nazi Concentration Camps and Stasi interrogation centres to Abu Ghraib in Iraq and The Hooded Men in Northern Ireland who were subjected to reoccurring ‘deep interrogation’ tactics comprised of five techniques, wall-standing, hooding, subjection to noise, deprivation of sleep, and deprivation of food and drink.

“The vast compositions have been elevated to the status of Renaissance altarpieces and are among the largest images the artist has ever produced.”

Since the 1980s Andres Serrano’s work has continued to spark debate and raise questions about censorship, taste, public decency and acceptable modes of expression.

In 1987 Serrano received international attention for one of his works, igniting a national debate on the freedom of artistic expression and the public financing of controversial artworks.

Works from this era will also be included in the Derry exhibition, which will be Andres Serrano’s first solo exhibition in Ireland.

Andres Serrano was born in New York City in 1950.

‘Torture’ opens at 7.30pm on Saturday 8 October at Void, Patrick Street. Derry. Admission Free.