Doris Salcedo en la Tate Modern


Doris Salcedo’s “Shibboleth” is a crack snaking across the concrete floor of the hall, getting wide and deep enough in places to twist your ankle in. People stare down it, put their hands in it, wonder aloud how it was made. Then get out their phones and take photos of each other straddling the great divide.

So I got out my phone and took similar pictures, and here they are. There’s no doubt that it’s intriguing. Not so much how they made the crack, but how they lined it, narrow as it is, with the cement-and-mesh finish that Salcedo favours. You can see evidence of patching of the concrete screed to either side of it, but one is left wondering what dentist-like tools must have been employed to create the effect.

Its effect is remarkable. School art classes turn up, sit down beside it, and sketch it. That’s sketching a crack in the floor. People walk crabwise, bent double, as if expecting to find some evidence of life, a portal to the centre of the earth, bubbling water – who knows?

1 Response to “Doris Salcedo en la Tate Modern”

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