I was in a dark and sober place when I saw Doris Salcedo's retrospective at the MCA. The work embodies death and loss and I was in just the state to receive the message. The smell of old roses overwhelmed before I could even examine the massive sheet of carefully sutured petals. To me, they were tens of thousands of stitched lips of corpses. The next room was even more wretching- bedroom furniture, pieced together, collaged, dense, filled in with concrete. In the most striking work, concrete pressed baby pajamas up against the glass of the armoire; it was the sudden death of family.
The talk itself was too quiet to hear very well, and she read from a laptop, in a heavy Columbian accent. I scribbled some great insights from her and some of the references she quoted, but the audience missed quite a bit of what she said. It would be worth going back to listen again when the MCA posts the video. When she took a few questions off the cuff though, she had a fantastic presence and took no shit. If anyone has a visibly powerful aura, it is Doris Salcedo. I'm a fan for life after that Q&A.