So, it was great to hear that ine of the most important works of Inhotim’s collection is now reopened for the public. Neither (2004), by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, was first exhibited at Inhotim in 2008, and has recently been fully restored, together with its host gallery.
This is the first major restoration project undertaken by Inhotim, reaffirming its commitment to the permanent exhibition of contemporary artworks.
Neither’s restoration was concluded in three stages. Initially, an architectural intervention in the gallery modified the public access to the building and created a heated antechamber to avoid direct exposure of the work to external conditions. Then, the engine room of the pavilion was expanded to receive new monitoring equipment, which will guarantee more homogeneous and linear climatic parameters, even with the variation of temperature and humidity in the outdoor environment, as is common in Inhotim.
After the gallery adjustments, it was possible to start the third and more complex stage: the restoration of the work itself.
“In Neither, Doris Salcedo unprecedentedly combines non-conventional materials such as gypsum and metal plaques. We need to consider that contemporary art works like this are designed by artists during experimentation and often for short-term exhibitions. At Inhotim, our challenge is to carry out continuous research on the processes, materials and concepts used to guarantee the perenniality of the collection and the access of the public”, ~ María Eugenia Salcedo, adjunct artistic director of the Institute.
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Doris Salcedo’s work has since the 1980s dialogued with political and social issues. Several 20th-century violence stories, such as the guerrillas that have marked Colombian history for decades, emerge as references and starting points for her sculptures and installations.
Neither highlights the artist’s interest in architectural interventions, and more specifically with one of the paradigms of modern exhibitions: the white cube, a space segregated from the outside with idealized proportions and continuous illumination, providing a more “pure” and “neutral” experience with art. In this installation, however, a grid was attached to the walls, with minimal differences in its repetition. Charged with emotion but almost invisible, the work relates to the architecture of concentration camps, but also with the apparatuses of segregation in large cities. If the walls protect, the bars seclude and separate – the artwork, however, is neither.
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