In her native country of Colombia, Doris Salcedo faces conflict that continually disrupts people’s lives with disappearances, deaths, drug wars, and random acts of violence. Salcedo has witnessed some of this violence, both firsthand and through interviews with victims. In her sculpture, she attempts to communicate the Colombian people’s plight through abstract, yet extremely expressive, means. The artist created numerous works like the one in the Gallery’s Collection by reinforcing pieces of wood furniture with metal bars, then filling them with concrete that is smoothed by hand. The result is cold, heavy, and silent—for Salcedo, a parallel to the way many victims encase themselves in silence to help preserve both their lives and their psyches.
COLOMBIA plays in the FIFA World Cup today, June 19, vs. Ivory Coast.
Doris Salcedo (Colombian, born 1958). Untitled, 1998. Wood, cement, and metal, 74 x 44 x 21 1/2 inches (188 x 111.8 x 54.6 cm). Sarah Norton Goodyear Fund, 1999. © Doris Salcedo.