Plegaria muda translates loosely as “silent prayer.” Salcedo created this work in response to gang-related deaths in Los Angeles and to her experience accompanying grieving mothers in her native Colombia as they searched for disappeared sons and identified them in unmarked graves. Each wooden table approximates the size and shape of a standard coffin and defines a place for mourning those who have died. “The only way they can exist is within us in the process of living out our grief,” Salcedo has said. The blades of grass evoke optimism: “I hope that, in spite of everything, life might prevail, even in difficult conditions.”
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