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Doris Salcedo: Palimpsest

9 October 2022 until 17 September 2023

In a large-scale installation, the Fondation Beyeler presents Palimpsest by internationally acclaimed Colombian artist Doris Salcedo. Born in Bogotá in 1958, with her objects, sculptures and large site-specific interventions Salcedo addresses 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.

The title of the exhibition project derives from the ancient Greek word “palimpsest”, which refers to manuscript pages that were reused several times over the course of antiquity and the Middle Ages. The traces of the original sentences remained partly visible under the new script, which made the transmission of the old texts possible in the first place. Doris Salcedo’s Palimpsest is a walk-through installation of sand-coloured, porous floor slabs. The work consists of two overlapping cycles of names: the names of those who died during a migration movement prior to 2010 are set off in fine sand of contrasting colour inlaid into the stone slabs; the names of those who died between 2011 and 2016 appear superimposed as drops of water that combine to form letters before seeping away again, in a constant cycle of inscription and erasure. At the Fondation Beyeler, Palimpsest is installed in the museum’s largest gallery. It comprises 66 stone slabs laid across a floor area of around 400 square metres, on which visitors are able to read 171 of the altogether 300 names.

The Fondation Beyeler will devote a large solo exhibition to Doris Salcedo from 21 May to 17 September 2023.

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TALK WITH DORIS SALCEDO

OCTOBER 9 2022, 11-12 P.M. 

In the course of this conversation, Colombian artist Doris Salcedo will speak to Klaus Biesenbach, Director at Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, about her artistic practice as well as the story of her Palimpsest installation and the experiences that she has had with it.

In the course of this conversation, Colombian artist Doris Salcedo will speak to Klaus Biesenbach, Director at Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, about her artistic practice as well as the story of her Palimpsest installation and the experiences that she has had with it. The work is dedicated to all those refugees and migrants who have lost their lives crossing the seas in search of a better life.

The event will be held in English. Admission to the museum is included in the ticket.

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