"Unland: the orphan's tunic," detail (1997)

"Unland: the orphan’s tunic," detail, 1997
Wood, cloth, hair and glue, 31 1/2 x 96 1/2 x 38 1/2 inches
Collection of Fundación "la Caixa," Barcelona
Photo by David Heald
© Doris Salcedo
Courtesy the Alexander and Bonin, New York

"Celan’s poetry is essential. He taught me what it meant to be an orphan, what it meant to be a poet in times such as his, in a labor camp, so that no matter what was done to him, still he was able to write poetry. He gave me the dimensions of the human soul, and that’s what I needed to know. That’s the way I want to see human beings. He taught me that life does not have only one side; it has many aspects. And, if you really look carefully, the opposite experience is embedded in what you see on the surface."

-Doris Salcedo