Strengthlessness shows Iván Argote's reappropriation of an obelisk, a symbol of military power and imperialism. In 1830, Mehemet Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, offered the two obelisks of the Luxor Temple to Charles X, then King of France, as a token of friendship. One of the two obelisks was sent to Paris and now stands in Place de la Concorde; the other remained in Luxor and was officially given back to Egypt by President François Mitterrand in 1981. By representing a crumbling, crawling obelisk, Iván Argote strips it of its symbolic charge.
Strenthlessness stems from the artist's deconstructionist work on the semiotics of power in the public sphere. For example, in the series Lo que Nos Sobra and Roarr, Iván Argote transforms sculptures of lions, traditional emblems of political power, into amorphous objects.