Tag Archives: doris salcedo

The Unmourned Dead

With political violence, and threats of political violence, vividly present all over the map, we have been revisiting the magnificent work of Doris Salcedo, facilitated by the Salcedo “mini-site” at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, from which we relay the below excerpted text and images:










Elsewhere, Salcedo says:

I devoted myself to making art out of political violence, knowing that it is impossible. I think violent death is obscene, so it is outside representation; it escapes symbolisation altogether. I know what I do is in vain.

Yet in facing the impossible, and by bringing the spirits of the unmourned dead into the very heart of her work, Salcedo invites us to consider the abject futility of the ever-expanding woundscape of political violence, as the empty chairs pile up into the heavens.



From Rights To Obligations

Today, shares in a dystopic “gig economy” company (Uber) will be offered to a public apparently willing to swallow even the most outrageously distorted narrative.

Concurrently,  the CEO of one of the most toxic companies in history (Amazon) has announced his plan to “build a road in space”:  “Do we want stasis and rationing or do we want dynamism and growth? This is an easy choice. We know what we want. We just have to get busy.”

Oh my. A man apparently addicted to “getting busy.”

Earlier this week saw the release of a report documenting abundant evidence of accelerating extinction rates while craven officials licked their chops over the opportunity to drill drill drill; busy, busy, busy.

In the midst of this death dance of neoliberalism, we turn to a historian who has devoted a lifetime of research to recuperating and celebrating histories of resistance to the commodification of every living and dead thing: Peter Linebaugh.

Excerpts from a recent interview below, with images from Doris Salcedo’s “Shibboleth”.