Doris Salcedo was born in Bogotá (Colombia) in 1958, where she lives and works. The characteristic of resistance in her work and the situation of violence and censorship that exists in her country have precluded her from enjoying public recognition at home, although she is highly recognised internationally. An example of committed art, her sculpture recovers and gives visibility to the processes of social violence, exclusion, death and silence taking place in Colombia and elsewhere. Without turning violence into a spectacle, her installations, qualified as ‘social sculpture’, are intended to restore the dignity of the victims.
Her works engage with the cases of real people with whom she lives for a time in order to speak on their behalf: ‘I do not reformulate the experience of the victim, I reassemble it in my work to give it eternal presence’ (Salcedo, 2006). Salcedo usually works with everyday objects, at times reclaiming furniture from demolished houses, clothing from missing persons or other personal effects, which she subjects to a process of catharsis to recover the memory of the victims and the universality of pain.
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The problem becomes clear, crystal clear: the artist’s canvas becomes a mirror.
Michelangelo Pistoletto