Doris Salcedo studied art in New York and Bogotá, where she lives and works. Her practice involves interviewing survivors of violence and the families of people killed or vanished in her war-torn native country. She translates that experience into laboriously constructed sculptures that become both witness and memorial. As the artist explains, "My work deals with the fact that the beloved — the object of violence — always leaves his or her trace imprinted on us."
The household objects Salcedo uses allude to the absence of the human bodies with which they were formerly associated. Beds, tables, chairs, and clothing are often modified with human or animal tissue, alluding to the fragility of life. Many of her works intervene directly into their architectural setting; for example, gouges into floors and walls evoke the pervasiveness of the psychic wound that results from loss.
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