Dazed Digital

Rome / Italiano

Doris Salcedo: Plegaria Muda at Maxxi

March 20, 2012

The artist behind the infamous crack sculpture at the Tate Modern unveils her latest large scale installation in Rome

  • Text by Flavia Ferrucci

The brilliant Colombian artist Doris Salcedo's traveling project arrives in Rome, an important and impressive installation that will be on view at the Maxxi Museum until June 24. "Plegaria Muda", which means silent prayer, comes from a long process of research and reflection that the artist has been developing since 2004, following an episode of brutal violence that saw the Colombian army kill 1,500 young people for no reason. The artist has accompanied a group of mothers in the search of their missing children and through the subsequent identification of  the bodies. A painful path of mourning towards the processing of the grief, symbolised and shown in this work.

"Plegaria Muda is an attempt to rework this pain. A space that is outside of life, a place on its own that reminds us of our dead," says Salcedo, who attended the inauguration held last week. The basis of her work is the need to scream the pain of an unknown and denied humanity living in a "social death". 100 stacked pairs of wooden tables with a clod of earth in between them, from which slender blades of grass arise. A modular repetition that evokes a burial site and is also a metaphor of lives conducted at the margins of society. A sort of labyrinth, a quiet and contemplative place of strong emotional impact that simultaneously brings a message of pain and hope. The grass that grows between the wooden planks of the tables is a symbol of rebirth, life and resurrection. "I hope that despite everything, even in difficult conditions, life will prevail... as it happens in 'PlegariaMuda'," says the artist.

Doris Salcedo runs to June 24 at Maxxi @

Via Guido Reni, 4
00196 Roma

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