We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.





Doris Salcedo


1958 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    wood, concrete, metal and fabric
    189.0 x 233.0 x 82.5 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 2007
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Doris Salcedo

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Doris Salcedo

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Doris Salcedo traces the distortion of reality that occurs when power and violence are used as means of social control. What comfort resides in the bed you once shared with a missing lover? What pleasure can one take in the intimate possessions of one’s spouse or child when they have been dragged away with no explanation? Objects retain traces of those who have used them. It is difficult to throw away such traces of an absent loved one, and yet it is equally difficult to continue using them as though nothing had happened.

    In this series wardrobes and beds are rendered monstrous by their merger. All the holes, gaps and cracks in the wood have been meticulously sealed with white cement. It is as if they have been rendered blind and mute, just like those whose silence is ensured by the threat of further violence. This careful sealing of the cracks is also read as an attempt to keep something out or in. But in this case the ‘something’ is elusive, like the nebulous fear of some unforeseen tragedy. Salcedo’s fusion of inanimate matter and human remains provokes a sense of abomination.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

    • Anthony Bond, Look, 'Doris Salcedo acquisition', pg.15-18, Sydney, May 2008, 15 (colour illus.), 18.

    • Cara Pinchbeck (Curator), When silence falls, Sydney, 2015, 35 (colour illus.).

    • White Cube, Doris Salcedo, London, 2007, 11 (colour illus.), 17 (colour illus.). The reproduction on page 17 is an installation view

Other works by Doris Salcedo