Bogotá-based artist Doris Salcedo Reveals the Poetic Architecture of Loss and the Importance of Political Commentary at Pérez Art Museum Miami
Bogotá-based artist Doris Salcedo’s exhibition at Pérez Art Museum Miami showcases 30 years of sculpture and installation. From the skeletal frames of hospital cots in her early Untitled works (1989–90/2013) to her newest series, Disremembered(2014), shroud-like garments woven from silk thread and needles, the work is formally elegant and fraught with pain. While Salcedo comments on the perilous social and political landscape of her native Colombia, she visualizes a universal lament. Her intimate and large scale installations imply personal and communal loss without directly representing the violence and trauma of war and political corruption at the source of this human tragedy.
In her talk at PAMM, Doris Salcedo spoke of how her work traces what is a deeply tragic reality of the twenty-first century: We live in a world where civil war has no limits. When political violence has no end, death becomes trivialized through hyper representation. She suggests that there is greater opportunity for an epiphany—for a true understanding of aggression—in images and objects where violence is imprinted, yet absent. The artist likens the effect of such art to our visual experience of an eclipse. When the moon obscures our view of the sun, she says, we are left to imagine the brightest star’s shape without being blinded by its light.
Doris Salcedo disagrees with the notion that artists are entitled to freedom of expression. Artists, she says, have a responsibility to comment on the tragedies and injustices that they witness.