Artist: Doris Salcedo
Title:Tabula Rasa IV
Dimension: 79 x 194.7 x 87.3 cm
About the Artist
“Doris Salcedo was born in 1958 in Bogotá. The artist holds a BFA from the Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano (1980) and an MA in Sculpture from New York University (1984). She has served as Director of the School of Plastic Arts, Instituto de Bellas Artes, Cali, Colombia (1987–88), and as Professor of Sculpture and Art Theory, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá (1989–91). Salcedo’s oeuvre is primarily concerned with memorializing the victims of the recent decades of brutal political violence in Colombia.
Salcedo’s style has a poetic yet archaeological quality, punctuated by grotesque and visceral elements and often reminiscent of crime scenes or burial excavation. The artist has acknowledged the influence of Joseph Beuys and Colombian artist Beatriz González.
Salcedo’s practice also includes performative work such as Noviembre 6 y 7 . For the eighth Istanbul Biennal (2003) she combined elements of performance and installation, filling a space between two buildings with more than fifteen hundred chairs to memorialize lives lost in international war and conflict. Shibboleth (2007), commissioned for the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in London, featured a fissure in the gallery floor that served as a metaphor for mourning and the aftershock of loss.
Salcedo has had solo exhibitions at the Casa de Moneda, Bogotá (1985); New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1998); Tate Gallery, London (1999); Camden Arts Centre, London (2001); Centro de Arte Contempornea, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (2008); Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; Moderna Museet, Malmö; and Centro de Arte Moderna, José de Azeredo Perdigo, Lisbon (all 2011); and at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (2012). She has participated in group exhibitions at the São Paolo Biennial (1998); Liverpool Biennial (1999); Documenta, Kassel, Germany (2002); Turin Triennial (2005); P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, and The Menil Collection, Houston (2008); and Hayward Gallery, London (2010). Salcedo has received multiple awards and honors, including the Ordway Prize (2005) and a Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Grant (1995). She lives and works in Bogotá.”
Text taken from the site www.guggenheim.org
What does this work say?
The dynamics, specially, of the contemporary art world demands few things from you when thinking on buying a piece: What is your relation with the work, what is the relation of it with the trajectory of the artist, what is the relation of the artist with the art market from the perspective of his/her contribution to the shaping of art and finally how his/her prices reflect that.
When talking about established artists like Doris Salcedo one can easily go back in time and learn about what drives the artist and how she expresses those motivations or intentions on her creations.
There is enough information for understanding her pieces, the evolution of her work.
Doris works on subjects that touch us as humans and which may refer or not to specific local or worldwide events: Memory, violence, domesticity, reconstruction, hope, immigration, time and presence among others.
“Tabula Rasa IV” acquires the character of a sculpture where she uses a domestic table that was reduced to pieces, tiny pieces, which were put back together so to restore the original shape.
The violence applied to the object, the destruction of it remains visible throughout the surface of the table leaving scars and missing parts that show what has been lost.
It is a painful analogy to the effects of violence in any situation: one can try to amend things but there will be missing parts, fragments that if too big will avoid the object to be used again or if in the case of humans the missing parts may avoid a complete integration to society, family, etc.
Doris creates these analogies within a context of beauty and extremely well detailed works.
The power of the discourse is not minimized by the aesthetics of the object.
In what Room to place it?
As an sculpture and due the fragility of it you will need to place it in a room big enough so you can walk around or if not at lease being able to see 3 of its sides and top surface.
As a hall piece would certainly cause an impact.
I would suggest placing it on a pedestal maximum 20 cm high so to facilitate the contemplation.
Lighting should allow seeing the painstaking process of putting the pieces back together.