’Unland’: The Place of Testimony by Tanya Barson – Doris Salcedo

Doris Salcedo is an artist who responds heavily with a form of activism, especially in regards to the civil war and tragedies of her home, Colombia. In the article ‘Unland’: Yje Place of Testimony by Tanya Barson, we explore the process behind her pieces using broken tables as symbolism for the tragedies experienced by the children in northern Colombia.

061_Salcedo-webUnland: audible in the mouth 1998 by Doris Salcedo born 1958

“In the case of the Unland sculptures she travelled to a chaotic and violent region in northern Colombia. There she met children from the area who were living in orphanages or on their own, and observed the way their lives developed over a period of time. More than the stories she was told by the children, or the words they used, Salcedo states that it is the condition of their lives which have been distorted by their experiences of loss that surfaces in the Unland sculptures. The sculptures constitute a material testimony of those experiences and their enduring impact on the lives of those involved. Salcedo explains that rather than adopting a perspective from outside, the Unland sculptures were made from the point of view of the lives of those affected and their inner turmoil and trauma.” (Barson, 2)


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