Doris Salcedo


Doris Salcedo (*1958 in Bogotá) ranks among the most important artists of our time. In her poetic and fragile objects, sculptures and large-scale, site-specific interventions, she hones in on the ever-repeating cycle of violence, outrage, remembrance and forgetting.

Palimpsest is dedicated to the refugees and migrants who over the past twenty years have died attempting dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean or the Atlantic in search of a better life in Europe. Just like an ancient palimpsest, the walk-through installation consists of overlapping scripts: names of the drowned inlaid into the stone slabs are overwritten by further names formed by drops of water that well up and seep away. This image of a “weeping earth” brings to life the memory of those whose death risks consigning them to oblivion and offers a timeless and cross-cultural tribute to the grief and sorrow of the living.

Palimpsest is realised in close collaboration with Doris Salcedo and her studio. Project team: Diana Cortés, Carlos Granada, Fiona Hesse, Sam Keller, Julian Mintert, Andrés Sandoval, David Vogt.


Palimpsest, 2013-2017

27.84 x 13.56 m

Ground marble, resin, corundum, sand and water, hydraulic components

Courtesy of Doris Salcedo and White Cube


The work is very fragile. Please do not step onto the names!



The barrier-free access is located in hall 13



The exhibition is generously supported by:

Further information on Palimpsest and art education offers

Micro-phenomenological interviews


"Art only emerges in the interplay between artwork, viewer and context." Katrin Heimann

In collaboration with Arhus University, we are going to explore this interplay in the installation Palimpsest. From 19 to 25 October 2022, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in interviews about their experience of the artwork.

"What do you perceive? Where are you drawn to? What thoughts, associations, memories, feelings and sensations come to you? How exactly do you experience them?"

The interviews will be conducted by Katrin Heimann, Arhus University, according to Claire Petitmengin's micro-phenomenological method in either German, English or Italian. The findings will be made available for research and will feed into the art education of the Fondation Beyeler.

You can find further information on the micro-phenomenological method on this website of an earlier cooperation on the occasion of the exhibition “Olafur Eliasson. Life"

If you are interested in taking part, please contact us via

We look forward to your participation!

NAH DRAN (Close)  – Voices in a context of crisis, displacement and settling in.

A Fondation Beyeler podcast


On the occasion of Doris Salcedo’s installation Palimpsest, the podcast NAH DRAN – Voices in a context of crisis, displacement and settling in conveys personal perspectives onto the themes addressed in the artwork. In conversations with Basel-based journalist Naomi Gregoris, people involved in various initiatives in the region share their stories.

They support people living in areas of crisis and conflict, fleeing their homeland or attempting to gain a foothold in Europe. The podcast provides insights into their daily activities and experiences in a context of crisis, displacement and settling in.

All episodes can be followed at listening stations in the Wintergarten of the museum or online.


Duration: around 7 mins each.
Editor: Stefanie Bringezu, Fondation Beyeler Art Education
Presenting and editing: Naomi Gregoris, Basel
Production: Simon Meyer
© Fondation Beyeler 2022

Go to Podcast

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