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A Hunger for AestheticsEnacting the Demands of Art$
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Michael Kelly

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152921

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152921.001.0001

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The Salcedo Effect

The Salcedo Effect

(p.129) 4 The Salcedo Effect
A Hunger for Aesthetics

Michael Kelly

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the so-called Salcedo Effect—attributed to Doris Salcedo—in relation to aesthetics. Salcedo is a contemporary artist from Columbia who has created contemplative, public, affective spaces that elicit compassion for human victims of violence, suffering, or death. Through her artistic practices, Salcedo has successfully resisted the anti-aesthetic stance even while being identified with it. A sculptor who has exhibited worldwide, Salcedo constructs social sculptures and installations aimed at “giving form to society through art” and integrating political awareness with art. To understand Salcedo's art, the chapter considers the aesthetic strategies she utilizes in her art. It also discusses the anti-aesthetic language prevalent in many discussions of Salcedo's work and explores how Salcedo's artwork enacts suffering and if so, whether it is enough to deem it politically and morally effective—the Salcedo Effect. Finally, it takes into account the role of aesthetics in Salcedo's success.

Keywords:   aesthetics, Salcedo Effect, Doris Salcedo, contemporary art, suffering, anti-aesthetic stance, social sculpture

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