Introduction / Jens Haaning and Santiago Sierra

The Copenhagen Declaration is a collaboration between Jens Haaning and Santiago Sierra, initiated by Danish curators Kim Kilde and Marie Thams for the Faurschou Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark, and later relocated to The Foundry, Maubourguet, France, in 2015. The large installation consists of 31 black painted wooden letters, each measuring up to 360 x 250 x 100 cm, spelling out the phrase TIRED OF THIS GLOBAL SADISTIC REGIME. As with Haaning’s and Sierra’s other works, this piece takes its point of grievance from social, economic and political ills. The work operates in the space between the ceremonial, formal declaration and the open statement of this phrase, which is dependent on socio-political background of the specific viewer. 

The artists have no intention for a prescribed interpretation of this work, though, in its declarative simplicity it can be seen as a monumental representation of globalised dissensus. The title of the work originates from the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, the largest single gathering of world leaders at the time, where the Copenhagen Declaration was conceptualised and written. It pledged to eradicate poverty, create full employment and foster social integration. Demonstrably, in the 20 years since, it has failed.