Doris Salcedo (born 1958) is a Colombian-born sculptor who lives and works in Bogotá. Salcedo completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at University of Bogotá in 1980, before traveling to New York City, where she completed a Master of Fine Arts degree at New York University. She then returned to Bogotá to teach at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Her work is influenced by her experiences of life in Colombia, and is generally composed of commonplace items such as wooden furniture, clothing, concrete, grass, and rose petals.
Salcedo’s work gives form to pain, trauma, and loss, while creating space for individual and collective mourning. These themes stem from her own personal history. Members of her own family were among the many people who have disappeared in politically troubled Colombia. Much of her work deals with the fact that, while the death of a loved one can be mourned, their disappearance leaves an unbearable emptiness.
Doris Salcedo is the eighth artist to have been commissioned to produce work for the turbine hall of the Tate Modern gallery in London. Her piece, Shibboleth (2007), is a 167-metre-long crack in the hall's floor that Salcedo says "represents borders, the experience of immigrants, the experience of segregation, the experience of racial hatred. It is the experience of a Third World person coming into the heart of Europe".