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IMMA presents a major exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist Doris Salcedo (b. 1958, Colombia). One of the world’s leading sculptors, Salcedo takes acts of political violence and victims’ experiences as the starting point to make works that are an examination of both mourning and materiality.

Using domestic materials already charged with significance and saturated with meaning accumulated from years of use in daily life, Salcedo’s sculptures and installations transform commonplace items into poignant and commanding testimonies of loss and remembrance. Since 2008, Salcedo has incorporated organic materials into her work, such as grass, silk, soil, and rose petals in A Flor de Piel II, blurring the lines between what is permanent and ephemeral.

Acts of Mourning focuses on key aspects of the artist’s career since the 1990’s and the challenges her work poses to the traditions of sculpture. The exhibition brings together six bodies of work including two substantial installations works A Flor de Piel II (2013-2014) and Plegaria Muda (2008-2010), as well as works from the Disremembered (2014-2017), Atrabiliarios (1996) and Untitled (furniture works) (1990-2016) series. The artist’s most recent sculpture series Tabula Rasa (2018), which is inspired by Salcedo’s conversations with survivors of sexual violence at the hands of armed men, is also included.

The exhibition poses questions about how we remember and acknowledge the personal histories of vulnerable and anonymous survivors of political and societal violence and how we can mourn those claimed by it. In order to articulate such loss, in the process of making the work Salcedo performs an act of remembrance for the forgotten victims. In doing so, she carves out a space for mourning that is both poignant and insistent. As Salcedo reflects “my work is about the memory of experience, which is always vanishing, not about experiences taken from life and is intended to honour the individuality of each victim’s experience”.

Acts of Mourning reflects Salcedo’s consistent preoccupation with the experience of mourning and the connection between violence, anonymity and the public domain. Bearing witness to individual testimonies, Salcedo memorialises and commemorates otherwise voiceless victims in a striking, powerful and emblematic way.

About the Artist

Doris Salcedo b.1958

Doris Salcedo was born in Bogotá where she continues to live and work. One of the world’s leading sculptors her work is deeply rooted in her native Colombia.
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Doris Salcedo 'Acts of Mourning'


Additional Resources 


Additional Resources

Lecture / Response by Tim Marlow, Salcedo's Acts of Mourning Soundcloud
Artist Talk & Discussion: Acts of Mourning with Doris Salcedo and Annie Fletcher Soundcloud
Magazine Lecture Response : An Aesthetics of Displacement - Dr Catherine Gander Soundcloud
Magazine Discussion, Women, Politics & Civil Rights Today Soundcloud
Magazine Curator's Talk: Doris Salcedo, Acts of Mourning - Karen Sweeney Soundcloud


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Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.