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Published by EUTOPIA: Contemporary Art Review, April 22, 2016

Doris Salcedo
Plegaria Muda
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas [link]

Conflating poetics with the politics of victimization Salcedo contextualizes her work with exhumation of the dead. Metaphorically and literally fecund, the dark platitude of survival through hardship physicalizes loss as symbolic graveyard. Plegaria Muda references Columbian youths found in mass graves, while mentioning 10,000+ youth deaths on the streets of LA. Disturbingly, the work offers no specific voice to the victimized voiceless of LA, relying on its powerful, universal vagueness to co-opt any tragedy. From a stratospheric art career the strategic franchising of the distant dead becomes questionable as empathy, yet highly valuable as cultural capital.

~ Ryder Richards
images courtesy of Colette Copeland

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