Episode #115: Doris Salcedo discusses her installation for the Istanbul Biennial, describing how she wanted to create a “topography of war” that would transcend the specificity of historical events.
Doris Salcedo’s understated sculptures and installations embody the silenced lives of the marginalized, from individual victims of violence to the disempowered of the Third World. Although elegiac in tone, her works are not memorials: Salcedo concretizes absence, oppression, and the gap between the disempowered and powerful. While abstract in form and open to interpretation, her works serve as testimonies on behalf of both victims and perpetrators. Salcedo’s work reflects a collective effort and close collaboration with a team of architects, engineers, and assistants and—as Salcedo says—with the victims of the senseless and brutal acts to which her work refers.
Doris Salcedo is featured in the Season 5 (2009) episode Compassion of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Download-to-own the full episode from iTunes.