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.