“For me art is a way of thinking, and in order to think you do not have to have perfect vision. For me art is an attempt to comprehend reality. Art is a way to expand the narrow definitions we have of what it means to be human. Art goes beyond my visual impairment—it is about empathy, and it is about a political and an artistic commitment.”Doris Salcedo in a 2017 interview with the Vision & Art Project
Doris Salcedo was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She studied at Jorge Tadeo Lozano University and New York University before returning to Bogotá, where she continues to live and work. Her sculptures and public installations are in response to political violence. Until recently, her work was primarily concerned with the more than 90,000 Colombians who have disappeared in the past fifty years, 70,000 of them without a trace. In recent years, some of her sculptures and installations have included victims of corruption, displacement, and injustice beyond Colombia.
An artist associated with the White Cube Gallery in London, she has had solo exhibitions at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Harvard Art Museums, Nasher Sculpture Center (Dallas), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Guggenheim Museum, Pérez Art Museum (Miami), Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (Mexico), Tate Modern, and New Museum (New York), among others. She has been the recipient of many awards, including the Nomura Award, the world’s largest art prize.
Salcedo has had Stargardt’s disease since early in her career and is now legally blind. She does not find this an impediment to her art in any way. As she said in a 2017 interview with The Vision & Art Project: “I think it is important to say that for me art is a way of thinking, and in order to think you do not have to have perfect vision. For me art is an attempt to comprehend reality. Art is a way to expand the narrow definitions we have of what it means to be human.”
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