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Doris Salcedo: Shibboleth

by Tim Yu in Culture on 09 November 2007

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The Tate Modern always does an incredible job of reinventing their Great Turbine Hall with large, encompassing installations and with Doris Salcedo's "Shibboleth" they may have outdone themselves. Stretching imagination and the definition of sculpture and installation itself, Salcedo created a subterranean crack in the floor that stretches 584 feet across the entire length of the Hall. The upshot is a jagged abyss that gives the impression that an earthquake cracked the museum floor.

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Starting as a delicate hairline crack on one end, the gap gradually widens to a space of several inches. The gash was created by opening the concrete floor and inserting a cast texture of rock wall from Salcedo's native Columbia. Winding through the Hall, the large scar makes a stark contrast with the pristine setting. It's said to symbolize the history of racism and the inequality among countries.

The installation will remain until 6 April 2008 and admission is free, so if you're in the area, there's no excuse not to go—just be careful not to twist an ankle, which apparently has already occurred on a few occasions. More information about the installation at Tate Modern and more images here.

Also on Cool Hunting: Carsten Holler

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