Doris Salcedo

Act of Mourning

Plaza de Bolivar, Bogotá.
24,000 candles [nearly]
© the artist 

On July 3, 2007, nearly 24,000 candles were lit in Bogotá’s Plaza de Bolivar in response to the homicides of the Valle del Cauca deputies who were kidnapped and taken hostage by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on April 12, 2002. Over the course of six hours, the candles were slowly and deliberately placed in a grid-like pattern in the main square. Salcedo noted that, due to Colombia’s political situation – which has dragged on since the beginning of the civil war in the 1960s – and the volume of massacres and disappearances during that time, as a nation they have become dehumanized and are no longer able to respond. “Acción de Duelo” (“Act of Mourning” aims to teach how to mourn.

Doris Salcedo / Bogotá, Colombia, 1958

Visual artist and sculptor, she develops a work of resistance based on the experiences and testimonies of the armed conflict in her country. Her proposals reflect situations of loss, trauma and pain, seeking to restore the memory of the victims. She works with everyday objects such as furniture recovered from devastated houses, clothes of the disappeared and elements such as roses and candles. Solo exhibitions include Palacio de Cristal, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2017); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, touring to Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2015-16); Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan (2014). Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Velázquez Visual Arts Award and Hiroshima Art Prize, among other important nominations. Lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia.

Ecuestre n.º 5

Fotomontage on Wall
Affiche Paper DIN A1 (594 x 841 mm) 

Between 2014-2017, Durán researched public monuments commemorating independence from Spain in Latin America, erected in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which helped to build and reinforce a new national image and identity. The ruling class followed European aesthetics for these monuments, and today, most citizens no longer know who they represent. The heroes of the past have become anonymous sculptures. Here, the artist creates a mock monument from an image of a Simón Bolívar statue in La Paz, Bolívia. The photos are digitally edited to create a fiction, which frees these monuments from any specific narrative and enhances their pure sculptural form.

Andrés Durán / Santiago de Chile, 1974

Andrés Durán Dávila is a visual artist and teacher. He holds a Master’s degree in Contemporary Artistic Practices from the Universidad Finis Terrae and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad ARCIS. His work has been exhibited in Chile and abroad, including: Monumento Editado: Chile-Peru-Bolivia-Argentina, Museo de Bellas Artes, Santiago (2019); Avenue of the Americas, Y Gallery NYC (2016); Guatephoto Festival, Guatemala (2015); Voces, Latin American Photography 1980-2015, Michael Hoppen Gallery, London (2015); Monumento Editado, Galería Gabriela Mistral, Santiago (2014); Ejercicios para distraer la Mirada, MNBA, Santiago (2012) and Mensulás, IV Bienal de Mercosur Brasil, (2003).
He has been awarded the Descubrimientos PhotoEspaña Prize 2016. In 2015 he won the first place in the CCU Art Scholarship, and a residency at ISCP in NYC. In 2005 he was nominated for the Altazor Award, in the category best installation and video art.