November 6 – Anniversary of a Chair Installation

Posted on November 6, 2016

Would you like to see 1,500 wooden chairs in a giant pile, between two buildings?

Here you go:

You're welcome!

Doris Salcedo is a Colombian artist who creates statements through “installation art.” This particular installation, called Istanbul and created in Istanbul in 2003, was supposed to create “a topography of war.” Knowing that topography means “a representation on a map of the features of an area,” what do you suppose Salcedo meant by that?

Remember, she is from Colombia, a nation in South America that has been plagued by decades of armed conflict and dangerous drug cartels. Salcedo haslsaid of herself that she is a Third World artist who creates artwork from the perspective of the victims. Of the defeated. Of the powerless.

So...all those chairs speak of humans. But there are no humans sitting in the chairs. So maybe the installation refers to a lack of humans, missing humans, humans who have fled or bled and died. One could see the haphazard arrangement of the chairs as a reference to mass graves, to anonymous, nameless victims of violence and war.

Let's check out some more of Salcedo's work. This one is called Shibboleth (it was installed in the Tate Modern, in 2007):

Shibboleth refers to a long-standing belief about a particular group of people – especially to such a belief that is now regarded as incorrect or unimportant.

This one is called Atrabiliarios (melancholy); these shoes are the discarded shoes of dead people in Colombia:

Here are a few more:

Also on this date:

Daylight Savings Time Ends

Constitution Day in the Dominican Republic 

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