London’s Tate Museum has a huge crack its floor. 15 people suffered minor injuries in the first 8-weeks of the crack — there since October — but no one has been badly hurt. This crack is not from an earthquake but has been chiseled in by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo who is known to ‘create artistic installations that function as political and mental archeology.’ Hmmm.
The crevice is 500 feet long and doesn’t exceed 1-foot width along its length. Called Shibboleth, according to the museum’s website: “the crack questions the interaction of sculpture and space, architecture and the values it enshrines, and the shaky ideological foundations on which Western notions of modernity are built.” The crack will be there to see until April 2008.
According to an article in the IHT, people have been reacting strangely to the crack. Some don’t see it and trip, some see it but don’t expect to be able to put their foot in the cavity, and not-surprisingly, many are debating over how safe it is.
I think it’s intriguing for the Tate to have allowed the physical destruction of an entire hall in the name of art.
Just like the Indian excrement art exhibition, I would never have imagined a huge crack in the floor to communicate something as profound as what Salcedo is trying to communicate. But, just because of the arrest-factor this crack has, I would take the effort to understand what it is trying to represent. Yes, I’m a sucker for random art like this.