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Fragile subject, solid object.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Doris Salcedo is a columbian sculptor who works with the seemingly fragile subject of memories. Salcedo has for years travelled the land of Columbia, searching out and listening to the stories of people who have witnessed and survived the cruel civil war. People that have lost parents, siblings, spouses, friends and neighbors to guerillas, drug gangs and military death squads. These stories Salcedo translates into beautifully unnerving sculptures. She works with everyday objects such as wardrobes, chairs and tables and she turn them into assemblage like sculptures.

In the Untitled series chairs and wardrobes merge into each other in solid blocks held together by concrete. The concrete fill out the hollowness inside the wardrobe and the space under the table as if trying to fix the memories and keep the secrets these spaces holds. In the work Unland the orphan tunic, two table halves becomes one, dependent on each other they create a new unity. Salcedo takes everyday objects and by slightly changing them she turn them into symbols for human relations and carriers of memories.

I feel affected by these works. They are curious, narrative, they want to tell the story but still don’t give away the secrets. I feel like this is art that wants to change the world, not in a big revolution, but by telling stories and changing us a tiny bit at the time, so slightly that it can barely be noticed. I’ll end this with a quote from the artist;

`I know that art doesn’t act directly I know that I cannot save anybody’s life, but art can keep ideas alive, ideas that can influence directly our everyday lives, our daily experience.´ -salc 1-

keyword: fragile

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