Tuesday 11 October 2016
Sumando Ausencias, loosely translated as ‘adding absence’, is an action by artist Doris Salcedo created in reaction to the result of the recent referendum in her native Colombia calling for an end to nearly 60 years of civil war. On 2 October 2016, after several years of negotiation, a small majority of the Colombian public rejected the final peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
In collaboration with the Museo de la Universidad Nacional Bogotá, Salcedo has created a banner, or ‘shroud’, utilizing 7000 metres of fabric, onto which has been written in ash the names of just seven percent of the victims of the conflict. Salcedo explains, ‘the names are poorly written, almost erased, because we are already forgetting these violent deaths’.
On October 11 2016, for a 12 hour duration, Salcedo congregated with dozens of volunteers in the Plaza Bolivar, the main square in Bogotá. The group, with the artist, stitched the banners together, creating 11000 metres of stitches, in order to cover the entire Plaza.
Doris Salcedo, portrait by David Heald