Oct 9, 2007

It's A Good Crack Or Is It Art?

Britain's Tate Modern gallery revealed the latest addition to its collection Monday -- a 500-foot (150 meter) crack running the length of the building's ground-floor hall. The work by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo begins as a hairline fissure and gradually widens and deepens as it zigzags across the concrete floor.

Bogota-based Salcedo said the work's "negative space" symbolized the experience of illegal immigrants.

Asked how deep the crack went, she said: "It's bottomless. It's as deep as humanity."

Tate director Nicholas Serota said the work had not damaged the building, but would leave a permanent mark. "There is a crack, there is a line, and eventually there will be a scar and that scar will remain," he said. "It will remain as a memory of the work and also as a memorial to the issues Doris touches on."

Salcedo's piece is titled "Shibboleth," after a Biblical massacre in which members of a defeated tribe were identified for slaughter based on the way they spoke.


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