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Silent witnesses: Doris Salcedo and Blanchot

Juliff, T ORCID: 0000-0003-1673-8723 2021 , 'Silent witnesses: Doris Salcedo and Blanchot' , Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, vol. 21, no. 2 , pp. 192-207 , doi:

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Doris Salcedo’s work calls towards the conjuring of absent testimony and silent witnesses. Across a broad range of works, Salcedo evokes the unwitnessed deaths of thousands of ‘missing’ Columbian peoples who disappeared in the early 21st century. This paper explores how the work of Maurice Blanchot – in particular The Instant of My Death (1994) – can help us understand the deconstruction of witnessing and testimony in Salcedo’s works Plegaria Muda (2008-10) and A Flor de Piel (2012). In both works Salcedo evokes the silent witness, a spectre (Derrida, 1996) that calls forth a responsibility to mourn the missing. This paper considers how Salcedo’s conjuring of silence locates testimony as a work in continual opposition to both truth and fiction, and in so doing proposes a new location of witnessing that demands a new approach to testimony.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Juliff, T
Keywords: Colombia, Doris Salcedo, witnessing, testimony, sculpture
Journal or Publication Title: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1443-4318
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited

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