Tate Modern  Turbine Hall
9 October 2007 – 6 April 2008

Tate is delighted to announce Doris Salcedo as the next artist invited to create the Unilever Series commission for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in 2007 (9 October 2007 – 24 March 2008).

Doris Salcedo was born in 1958 in Bogotá, Colombia, where she continues to live and work. Widely recognised as one of the leading sculptors of her generation,over the past five years Salcedo has increasingly addressed the public sphere in her practice and has completed several large–scale projects around the world. This will be Salcedo’s first public commission in the UK.

Responding to specific architectural, geographic and political situations, all of Salcedo’s projects are grounded in meticulous research, the exact nature of which is mostly hidden by the silent and hauntingly beautiful poetry of her work. Common themes include the destructive force of violence, personal and collective trauma, and the tragedy of human loss.

In 2002 over the course of two days Salcedo lowered 280 chairs down the façade of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá to pay homage to those killed here in a failed guerrilla coup seventeen years earlier.  Blurring the lines between performance and sculpture this extraordinary spectacle publicly confronted memories of this traumatic event for the first time. The following year, at the Istanbul Biennial 2003, Salcedo filled a derelict building plot with 1,550 wooden chairs. These were piled house-high and made flush with the facades of the buildings either side, evoking the masses of faceless migrants who underpin our globalised economy.

More recently in 2006, Salcedo created a work in the eighteenth-century Castello di Rivoli, Turin entitled Abyss. This installation shrouded the white-washed walls of a room used for dynastic displays of power with a brick skin. Immaculately blindfolding the castle’s architecture, Salcedo created a vivid memorial to those excluded from systems of power, past and present. For her most recent exhibition in London, at White Cube in 2004, Salcedo embedded wire mesh into what appeared to be the gallery walls, to create an uncanny suggestion of being trapped in a confined space.

Salcedo’s public works are an extension of her earlier sculptural practice which frequently featured ordinary household objects worn by age such as chairs, tables and wardrobes. Juxtaposing these relics of domestic life with unorthodox materials such as human hair, cement and garments, Salcedo turns familiar objects into visual metaphors for the suffering experienced by victims of violence and injustice. A monographic room containing three seminal sculptural works from Tate’s collections by the artist will be on view at Tate Modern from May onwards.

Vicente Todoli, Director, Tate Modern said:

Chosen not least for her exceptional ability to engage with architectural space, we look forward to seeing how Salcedo’s commission will engage as much with the iconic architecture of the Turbine Hall as with the symbolic significance of Tate Modern within the International contemporary art world.

Gavin Neath, Senior Vice-President Global Corporate Social Responsibility, Unilever said:

Unilever is delighted that Doris Salcedo will be undertaking the eighth commission in The Unilever Series – which has been called the art world’s toughest challenge. We look forward to Salcedo’s commission which will undoubtedly again stretch the boundaries of imagination.

The Unilever Series: Doris Salcedo is curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume, Curator Tate. Doris Salcedo is represented by Alexander and Bonin, New York and White Cube, London.

Notes to Editor

The Unilever Series of annual commissions was launched in 2000 when Tate Modern opened with Louise Bourgeois’s I Do, I Undo, I Redo. The Spanish artist Juan Muñoz was the second artist commissioned in 2001 withDouble Bind, while the first British artist to be commissioned was Anish Kapoor with Marsyas in 2002. Olafur Eliasson’s Weather Project illuminated the Turbine Hall in 2003 and Bruce Nauman’s mesmerising sound installation, Raw Materials, opened in October 2004. In 2005 Rachel Whiteread created her installation EMBANKMENT, and last year Carsten Höller created the interactive spiralling slides, Test Site, which allowed visitors to travel through the vast space.
Unilever has sponsored The Unilever Series since Tate Modern’s opening in 2000, firstly committing to a £1.25m five-year sponsorship before renewing in 2005 with £1m for a further three-years. The Unilever Series and the accompanying education programme run in conjunction with Tate (the Unilever International Schools Art Project) reflect Unilever’s commitment to nurturing creativity and innovation helping to make people feel good, look good and get more out of life.


For further information please contact Tate Press Office:Call + 44 (0)20 7887 8730 / 4939 / 4906 Email pressoffice@tate.org.uk 20 John Islip Street MillbankLondon SW1P 4RG