The Colombian artist Doris Salcedo will be opening her new exhibition – I assume of one very large artwork – in the Tate Modern in London on the 9th of October. And, according to Richard Cork of the Financial Times, she plans to show her anger with Europe!
“I hate the high culture of Europe that’s used as a form of racism. This high culture is now supposed to be threatened by raw immigrants but it was built with labour from – where?” She hits the sofa with both hands. “And where does all this wealth come from?”
My dear Doris – do not be so angry! It takes time to build a country and the UK has been doing so for almost a thousand years and Colombia for only about five hundred (or fifty depending on how you want to look at it!).
Plus, Doris seems to think that the UK was built by immigrant slaves. Now, though it is obvious that the UK has a colonial past, I do not think it right to make statements – artistic or otherwise – that denigrate the results of the contributions of the many immigrants that came to the UK – of their own free will, I must add. Sure they helped build the country – but let´s not overdo it. If you had nowhere to go and had to visit a neighbour wouldn´t you help plough his land and build in exchange for new opportunities.
In any case, I think Doris should not export the anger that she feels surely as a result of the internal problems in her own country that haven´t been solved in 40 years to the UK or anywhere else.
At the White Cube gallery she is showing shoes of the dead and dismembered or mentally attacked victims of the conflict here in Colombia. Does that really get the message across that the only reason that the conflict exists today is because the FARC has no real political agenda and is just protecting its business much as Al Capone did his? I think it is just too much of an artist dwelling on the past – when we should all be living in the present and looking to the future.
But hey, maybe it´s me being cynical.
If yo are in London, go see the new work by Doris Salcedo at the Tate Modern and write back with your comments.
PS: Doris – do not worry too much about European wealth – better, ask yourself why Colombia can have two (almost three) USD BILLIONIARES when much of the country is still searching for its daily bread!