Doris Salcedo and Manuel Borja-Villel talk about the exhibition at Palacio de Cristal. The work of Doris Salcedo (Bogotá, 1958) is deeply rooted in the social and political circumstances of her native Colombia, although she does occasionally address problems in other contexts — a case in point being the project she has devised for the Palacio de Cristal. Time and again, her work sets out from rigorous research as she employs sculpture and installation to approach situations of conflict, with violence and its victims, memory and forgetting ever-present. Salcedo’s use of everyday materials and personal objects often takes on a sinister quality to evoke the absence of those people they are related to, or those to which they belong: missing persons, refugees, people who have been murdered or forgotten… Her pieces — poetic, fragile, beautiful — encompass drama, trauma and violence, often working as remembrance or homage, mourning for the living and, above all, people who die forgotten.

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