Doris Salcedo: Acts of Mourning

26 April 2019 00:00 - 21 Juli 2019 00:00

MMA presents a major exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist Doris Salcedo (b. 1958, Colombia). One of the world’s leading sculptors, Salcedo takes acts of political violence and victims’ experiences as the starting point to make works that are an examination of both mourning and materiality.

Using domestic materials already charged with significance and saturated with meaning accumulated from years of use in daily life, Salcedo’s sculptures and installations transform commonplace items into poignant and commanding testimonies of loss and remembrance. Salcedo takes acts of political violence and the experiences of those directly affected as the starting point to make works that are an examination of mourning and materiality. Since 2008, Salcedo has incorporated organic materials into her work, such as grass, silk, soil and rose petals, blurring the lines between what is permanent and ephemeral.

Acts of Mourning focuses on key aspects of the artist’s career since the 1990s and the challenges her work poses to the traditions of sculpture. The exhibition brings together six bodies of work including two substantial installations, A Flor de Piel II (2013-2014) and Plegaria Muda (2008-2010). Alongside these, the exhibition includes works from Salcedo’s Disremembered (2014-2017), Atrabiliarios (1996) and Untitled (furniture works) (1990-2016) series as well as her most recent Tabula Rasa (2018) sculptures. 

The exhibition poses questions about how we remember and acknowledge the personal histories of vulnerable and anonymous survivors of political and societal violence, and how we can mourn those claimed by it. In order to articulate such loss, in the process of making the work Salcedo performs an act of remembrance for the forgotten victims. In doing so, she carves out a space for mourning that is both poignant and insistent. As Salcedo reflects “My work is about the memory of experience, which is always vanishing, not about experiences taken from life and is intended to honour the individuality of each victim’s experience.”

Acts of Mourning reflects Salcedo’s consistent preoccupation with the experience of mourning and the connection between violence, anonymity and the public domain. Bearing witness to individual testimonies, Salcedo memorialises and commemorates otherwise voiceless victims in a striking, powerful and emblematic way.

Response by Tim Marlow: Salcedo’s Acts of Mourning 

Wednesday, July 10, 6:30-7:30pm
IMMA presents a keynote lecture by Tim Marlow, Artistic Director at the Royal Academy of Arts, London and Arts Broadcaster for television and radio, who offers an insightful perspective of working with Doris Salcedo to discuss her exhibition Acts of Mourning.

For a full programme of talks and events programmed in association with this exhibition please visit the IMMA website.

Admission is free. 

Doris Salcedo: Acts of Mourning
IMMA — Irish Museum of Modern Art
Kilmainham Royal Hospital, Military Road

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