Siah Armajani (born in 1939 in Teheran, living in Minneapolis since 1961) describes himself an a public artist, as an artist working for public space. Drawing this boundary is a commitment and a challenge, under the premiss of an altered relationship between art and the public. Armajani's concept of "art in public space" is based on taking into account the communicative functions a work can and should have in a specific location. His works are always a result of an investigation into the problematics involved in forming a surrounding, developed by analysing the formal and socio-cultural preconditions of a given situation.

Siah Armajani's "Sacco and Vanzetti reading-room" was created in 1987 on the occasion of his first solo exhibition in Europe at Kunsthalle Basle and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Portikus presents, for the second time following the Westfälische Landesmuseum in Münster, the installation together with photographs by Thomas Struth. While in Münster photographic perception and functional installation regarding "public space" as the object of investigation were presented parallel, Portikus will show the dialectical connection between both. The main focus of the concept lies not on the "exhibition" but on the possibility of having Thomas Struth's photographs presented within the context of Armajani's reading-room in order to experience both more intensely.