ART | Doris Salcedo (Colombia) . until June 30th

A Flor de Piel - Doris Salcedo - 2011 - 2012 - 51252

For her exhibition at White Cube Mason’s Yard, Colombian artist Doris Salcedo will present two new, large-scale works.Plegaria Muda (2008-10), situated in the lower ground floor gallery, is a major installation consisting of a number ofindividual sculptures that evoke a mass memorial or collective burial site. In the ground floor gallery Salcedo will showan intensely fragile sculpture entitled A Flor de Piel (2012); a shroud composed of sutured rose petals. Salcedo is well known for her politically engaged work that attempts to bear witness to specific acts of violence. Workon Plegaria Muda, loosely translated as ‘mute prayer’, began in 2004 in Los Angeles when Salcedo started researchingthe violent life of young people in the ghettoes of the city.

Three years later, the installation took more direct shapeafter the bodies of 1,500 young men were found in Colombia. The men were from very poor families and had beenlured with the offer of a job in the army, only to be then taken to remote areas of the country and murdered, falselypresented as guerrillas or paramilitaries killed in combat.For this exhibition, Salcedo will create a site-specific installation using forty-five units out of a total of one hundredand sixty-two that make up the full Plegaria Muda installation. Each sculpture, approximately the length and width ofa standard coffin, consists of two oblong tables made out of aged and greyed wood.

The tables have been placed ontop of each other, surface to surface, as if their original function is over and are divided by a thick slab of earth.Although each table is of similar dimensions, in keeping with Salcedo’s past practice, each one has been highly workedand has been coloured and cut to appear distinct and particular. On the uppermost table surface we glimpse delicateshoots of brilliant green grass that have somehow pushed through the wood, as if life itself is reasserting its grip.Grouped together in the gallery space the minimal, modular installation has the distinct aura of a silent graveyard;albeit one that has individual, distinct tombstones for each and every subject.In the ground floor gallery, Salcedo will present A Flor de Piel : an enormous shroud made up of thousands of rosepetals connected to each other in a suspended state — neither fresh nor withered — and which may transform duringthe course of the exhibition.

Venue: White Cube Mason’s Yard, 25-26 Masons Yard London SW1Y 6BU
Contact : White Cube Mason’s Yard Tel. 020 7930 5373

Plegaria Muda - Doris Salcedo - 2008-2010 - 51585

A Flor de Piel developed as a sculpture that was about the simple but impossible task ofmaking a flower offering to a victim of torture. The work has been described by Salcedo as ‘a very delicate and almostinsubstantial piece… an ephemeral skin or shroud’. For Salcedo, the process of making the work is a journey; a way ofworking through and connecting with meaning as much as a way of engendering the final material form itself. With AFlor de Piel , Salcedo was pushed to find the ‘limits of the fragile and the most delicate within the frame of sculpture’.Salcedo’s work is often concerned with the articulation of the singular to the group, of an individual subject versus theanonymity of the mass grave, with personal grief as opposed to the irrelevance of an ‘official’ death toll statistic.Although her work has moved towards architectural installation in recent years, (exemplified by Shibboleth at TateModern in 2007) both A Flor de Piel and Plegaria Muda bring it firmly back to sculpture. As the artist has commented,these works ‘refer to something extremely private’, a way of approaching the general through specific instances ofpersonal loss.

Doris Salcedo has exhibited internationally, including the following solo exhibitions: ‘Plegaria Muda’, MAXXI, Rome(2012); MUAC, Mexico City; Moderna Museet, Malmö and Centro de Arte Moderna, Gulbenkian, Lisbon (2011), ‘Neither’,Inhotim, Centro de Arte Contemporânea, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (2008), ‘Shibboleth’, Tate Modern, London (2007),Camden Arts Centre, London (2001), ‘Unland’, Tate Britain, London (1999), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art(1999) and New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1998). Group exhibitions include ‘The New Décor’, HaywardGallery, London (2010), ‘NeoHooDoo’, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York and The Menil Collection, Houston(2008), 8th Istanbul Biennial (2003), Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany (2002) and XXIV São Paolo Biennial (1998).

Colombian artist Doris Salcedo returns to London presenting two new, large-scale works. Plegaria Muda (2008-10), situated in the lower ground floor gallery, is a major installation consisting of a number ofindividual sculptures that evoke a mass memorial or collective burial site. In the ground floor gallery Salcedo will show an intensely fragile sculpture entitled A Flor de Piel (2012); a shroud composed of sutured rose petals.

For this exhibition, Salcedo creates a site-specific installation using forty-five units out of a total of one hundred and sixty-two that make up the full Plegaria Muda installation. Each sculpture, approximately the length and width ofa standard coffin, consists of two oblong tables made out of aged and greyed wood. The tables have been placed ontop of each other, surface to surface, as if their original function is over and are divided by a thick slab of earth.Although each table is of similar dimensions, in keeping with Salcedo’s past practice, each one has been highly workedand has been coloured and cut to appear distinct and particular. On the uppermost table surface we glimpse delicateshoots of brilliant green grass that have somehow pushed through the wood, as if life itself is reasserting its grip. Grouped together in the gallery space the minimal, modular installation has the distinct aura of a silent graveyard;albeit one that has individual, distinct tombstones for each and every subject.

In the ground floor gallery, Salcedo will present A Flor de Piel : an enormous shroud made up of thousands of rose petals connected to each other in a suspended state — neither fresh nor withered — and which may transform during the course of the exhibition. A Flor de Piel developed as a sculpture that was about the simple but impossible task ofmaking a flower offering to a victim of torture. The work has been described by Salcedo as ‘a very delicate and almost insubstantial piece… an ephemeral skin or shroud’. For Salcedo, the process of making the work is a journey; a way ofworking through and connecting with meaning as much as a way of engendering the final material form itself. With AFlor de Piel , Salcedo was pushed to find the ‘limits of the fragile and the most delicate within the frame of sculpture’.

Salcedo’s work is often concerned with the articulation of the singular to the group, of an individual subject versus theanonymity of the mass grave, with personal grief as opposed to the irrelevance of an ‘official’ death toll statistic. Although her work has moved towards architectural installation in recent years, (exemplified by Shibboleth at TateModern in 2007) both A Flor de Piel and Plegaria Muda bring it firmly back to sculpture. As the artist has commented,these works ‘refer to something extremely private’, a way of approaching the general through specific instances of personal loss.

Doris Salcedo has exhibited internationally, including the following solo exhibitions: ‘Plegaria Muda’, MAXXI, Rome(2012); MUAC, Mexico City; Moderna Museet, Malmö and Centro de Arte Moderna, Gulbenkian, Lisbon (2011), ‘Neither’, Inhotim, Centro de Arte Contemporânea, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (2008), ‘Shibboleth’, Tate Modern, London (2007),Camden Arts Centre, London (2001), ‘Unland’, Tate Britain, London (1999), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art(1999) and New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1998). Group exhibitions include ‘The New Décor’, Hayward Gallery, London (2010), ‘NeoHooDoo’, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York and The Menil Collection, Houston(2008), 8th Istanbul Biennial (2003), Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany (2002) and XXIV São Paolo Biennial (1998).

This exhibition was selected as the Exhibition of the Week by The Guardian newspaper on its first week open to the public.

Venue: White Cube Mason’s Yard, 25-26 Masons Yard London SW1Y 6BU          Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 10am–6pm / Sunday 12pm – 6pm           Contact: White Cube Mason’s Yard Tel. 020 7930 5373

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