Andres Serrano - Torture

Andre Serrano - Torture
30 Nov 2018 - 3 Mar 2019

Stills is pleased to announce ‘Andres Serrano - Torture’, a curated exhibition of work by artist Andres Serrano, organised in association with a/political.

It’s easy to torture people when you have power over them – Andres Serrano 

Don't tell me it doesn't work - torture works – Donald Trump

Since the 1980s Andres Serrano's work has sparked debate and raised questions about censorship, taste, public decency and acceptable modes of expression. In 1987 Serrano received international attention for his work 'Piss Christ', a photograph of a small plastic crucifix submerged in a tank of the artist’s urine. The work ignited a national debate on the freedom of artistic expression and the public financing of controversial artworks. 

Stills’ exhibition will feature a selection of recent photographs from Serrano’s ‘Torture’ series commissioned by socio-political arts organization a/political in 2015. Many of the works in the series were staged at The Foundry, an experimental space in the French industrial town of Maubourguet. Here, Serrano assumed the role of the torturer and under the guidance of military personnel photographed more than 40 subjects in degrading positions using devices that were produced on-site by the local residents. The subjects suffered humiliation and actual physical distress as they were shackled, submerged and forced into stress positions for extended periods of time. 

For this body of work, Serrano travelled widely, photographing prisons, immigration removal centers and concentration camps, as well as torture devices from important historical collections and tourist attractions. The compositions have been elevated to the status of Renaissance altarpieces and are among the largest images the artist has ever produced.

Signed copies of Andres Serrano - Torture publication available to purchase HERE


On 4 December 2018, Stills welcomed Andres Serrano to Edinburgh to give an Artist Talk at the Royal College of Physicians. You can watch the talk below or via YouTube here:



Notes to editors

Andres Serrano was born in New York City in 1950. Serrano received international attention for the scandal around his work Piss Christ (1987), igniting a national debate on the freedom of artistic expression and the public financing of controversial artworks. He went on to produce series including the KKK, The Morgue and Shit. Throughout his confrontational and challenging work, Serrano unpicks the hypocrisies and highlights similarities within religious, political and social constructs. Recent solo exhibitions include: Andres Serrano, Petit Palais, Paris, France (2018); Andres Serrano: Unveiling Reality, Huis Marseilles, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2017); Uncensored photographs, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium (2016); The Denizens of Brussels / Residents of New York Congrès (gare), Brussels, Belgium, organized by the Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium (2016); Ainsi soit-il, Collection Lambert en Avignon, Avignon, France (2016); Ainsi soit-il, Château de Villeneuve, Fondation Emile Hugues, Vence, France (2015); Redemption, Fotografiska Museum of Stockholm, Sweden (2015). 


a/political is a not-for-profit organization, collaborating with socio-political artists. a/political, initiate, produce and tour large-scale projects world-wide. With offices based in London, a/political opened The Foundry as an experimental art space, hosting ambitious projects outside the controls of the contemporary art market. Artists are invited to produce new work in the neighboring factories. In addition, a/political acquires artworks for permanent installation at The Foundry to compliment the collection currently located in London. 


Stills is a centre for photography based in the heart of Edinburgh. We offer exhibitions and production facilities as well as a range of engagement opportunities for anyone to discover, enjoy and understand photography. Stills was established in 1977.  Since that time it has become a champion for the important and powerful role that the medium of photography plays in the world today. 


For further info or to arrange an interview please contact Rachael Cloughton at or 0131 622 6200


Image: Dog Position II (Series: Torture), 2015, Andres Serrano. Courtesy of a/political and the artist.

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