(Bogotá, Colombia, 1958 - )
Lives Bogotá, Columbia
A native of Bogota, Columbia, where she still lives and works, Salcedo earned a BFA from the Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano in 1980, continuing on to earn an MA from New York University in 1984. She subsequently taught at the Instituto de Bellas Artes, Cali, Colombia and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where she remained until 1991. Salcedo’s sculptures and installations since the early 1990s have addressed collective memory, especially how communities remember and cope with traumatic events.
Often referencing violence in her native Columbia, as in the 1996 installation 'Atrabiliarios' (Defiant), Salcedo conducts extensive research before each project in order to ground the work in real experience. At the same time, Salcedo’s manipulation of materials, ranging from pressed Oxford shirts to wardrobes and bed frames, is lyrical rather than literal, using absence and voids to recall the victims of oppression and violence. A commission from the Tate Modern in London in 2007 to produce a large-scale installation for the museum’s Turbine Hall resulted in the work 'Shibboleth'. For 'Shibboleth', Salcedo created a crack the length of the Hall’s floor in order to allude to the questionable foundations of Western culture and modernity. As Salcedo has written, “The history of racism runs parallel to the history of modernity, and is its untold dark side.”
Salcedo’s numerous awards include a Penny McCall Foundation Grant in 1993, a Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Grant in 1995 and The Ordway Prize from the Penny McCall Foundation in 2005. The artist is included in many international collections, including the the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden; the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.