In 1985 Deacon produced two sculptures entitled Blind, deaf and dumb, one in laminated wood (A) and the other in steel (B). They were installed in the Serpentine Gallery in London, making use of both its interior and exterior space.
The work installed outside the Gallery, which is the one now in the Colección Santander, was conceived and designed in great detail from the outset. Starting from his initial sketches, Deacon aimed to gradually create the sculpture before its actual realisation. Using drawings as if they were instructions, Deacon made a scale model that allowed for any errors to be corrected before giving the designs to the maker. The large size of the work guarantees its physical presence.
The title, Deaf, blind and dumb, refers to sensory alienation, suggesting the individual’s separation or indifference in relation to his or her environment, while the work of the imagination as a mediating element against this process of alienation is emphasised.