Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s

Feb 11–Jun 3, 2012

Doris Salcedo (Colombian, b. 1958)
Untitled, 1989–93
Twenty-one cloth shirts with plaster and steel
Collection of Marilyn and Larry Fields
Doris Salcedo’s stiff white columns of folded men’s shirts hint at something ominous. While these geometric units seem orderly, the poles that pierce the shirts’ right shoulders disrupt the appearance of symmetry, lending an undeniable air of violence. Based on the testimony of forty Colombian women who saw their husbands murdered for participating in organized labor struggles, these works offer a seemingly unassuming counter-monument to victims of state-sanctioned terror. With their workaday banality, the stacked shirts are a poignant reminder of their absent wearers, silent stand-ins for those who have disappeared.