In 2003, in Istanbul, Doris Salcedo made an installation on an unremarkable street comprising 1,600 wooden chairs stacked precariously in the space between two buildings. This work functions as political and mental archaeology, using domestic materials charged with significance and suffused with meanings accumulated over years of use in everyday life. More than just a pile of chairs this work is more like sculptures that take on the resonance of something lost, broken or mended. Salcedo uses both gallery spaces and outside locations to create vertiginous environments charged with politics and history. . Be it the antique invention – a chair that everyone uses everyday or a crack on the floor (see the image below), the work makes one take a second look at what one has neglected for long. This work below, entitled Shibboleth 2007, runs the full 167 metres of the cavernous hall on London’s South Bank. It begins as a crack then widens and deepens as it snakes across the room symbolising racial hatred and division in society. Salcedo claims the work took her over a year to make, and apparently spent the past five weeks installing it in the Tate. But she refused to reveal how it was achieved! It has taken five weeks of work here with very considerable disruption to the hall. It’s not an illusion – it’s there, it’s real.
Source: http://whitecube.com/artists/doris_salcedo/, http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ArtistWorks?cgroupid=999999961&artistid=2695&tabview=bio