Doris Salcedo (Colombian, b. 1958)
Untitled, 1989–93, Twenty-two cloth shirts with plaster and steel Collection of Penny Pritzker and Dr. Bryan Traubert, Chicago
Untitled, 1989–93, Twenty-one cloth shirts with plaster and steel Collection of Marilyn and Larry Fields
Untitled, 1989–93, Forty-one cloth shirts with plaster and steel Collection of Barbara Blhum-Kaul and Don Kaul.
MCA Chicago. Doris Salcedo’s stiff white columns of folded men’s shirts hint at something ominous. While these geometric units seem orderly, the poles that pierce the shirts’ right shoulders disrupt the appearance of symmetry, lending an undeniable air of violence. Based on the testimony of forty Colombian women who saw their husbands murdered for participating in organized labor struggles, these works offer a seemingly unassuming counter-monument to victims of state-sanctioned terror. With their workaday banality, the stacked shirts are a poignant reminder of their absent wearers, silent stand-ins for those who have disappeared.