Monday, 10 March 2008

Doris Salcedo. Shibboleth.

With Shibboleth, Doris Salcedo has openeda long, snaking crack across the vast length of the Turbine Hall . Fracturing the concrete floor, this, her newest work stikes to the very foundations of the gallery. In some places it is as much as 30cm wide, could not obviously photograph it well because of it's great length, it is quite an extraordinary and slightly unsettling sight as one walks into the hall.


HappyDance said...

Hello Lady,
So nice to see you have a blog. Hope you will have more time to write in it than I have been able to chop out to write in mine!! LOL. I loved seeing the photos of the gallery and especially this one. I AM left wondering in this work what the connection is to the original meaning of the word 'Shibboleth.' It's such a really interesting concept that word, historically. Hmmm intriguing... Do you mean that in the Tate exhibit there REALLY is a crack created in the floor, or is it Trompe l'oeil? Either would be an interesting installation though, wouldn't it?! Love it. Thanks so much for letting us all "piggy-back" with you to the museum.

Ok, now get back home to us where you belong!! ha ha ha

Kisses, St. Micolaus
(I DID NOT say St. Mick-old-ass)

Caroline said...

Aha,the crack is real. For Salcedo, the crack reveals a colonial and imperial history that has been disregarded, marginalised or simply obliterated.. the history of racism, running parallel to the history of modernity and , it's untold dark side. The Tate modern is housed in a former power station, commisioned in 1947 to assist in the powering and reconstruction of post war London This was the moment that the city was becoming increasingly multicultural as a result of labour migration movements in the decolonising twilight of the British Empire, and the schisms and exclusions of postcolonialism were already beginning to be played out. Salcedo reconnects the building to these colonial and post colonial histories.
'Modernity' as Salcedo writes, 'is seen as an exclusively European event in which the self-cultivation of the human mind through the excercise of reason and the study of the classics had as its main purpose the creation of a homogenous, rational and beautifull society... in this narration, colonial and imperial history has been diregarded or simply obliterated.' Modern art, can be said to have perpetuated a potent stereotype or separation, a shibboleth of its own.
Salcedo reminds us that these wounds can not simply be consigned to the past, with this ineradicable fault line gouging out the very ground that we walk on. She encourages us to confront truths about ourselves and our world with candidness and without self deception.