HANDS ON: Doris Salcedo

The following activity ideas can be used to engage audiences in a hands-on approach to processing the ideas presented in the artist's film segment. They were compiled from our Educators' Guides and Screening Toolkits. Activities include not only visual art strategies but writing, research, and other disciplinary methods. Additional resources and strategies for teaching with films and working with contemporary art can be found in Teach.


"La Casa Viuda I," 1992-94. Wood and fabric, 101 1/2 x 15 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches. Collection of Worcester Art Museum. Photo by Javier Campano. © Doris Salcedo. Courtesy the Alexander and Bonin, New York.

Create a work of art—without using representations or images of human figures—that communicates something about an experience of another person or other people.


SEGMENT: Doris Salcedo in "Compassion"

Use a series of interviews—for example, with people in your family, school, or neighborhood—as the starting point for a work of art.

In her segment, Doris Salcedo reflects on the meaning of old shoes included in the work, Atrabiliarios, and explains: "We don't like old shoes. But nevertheless, every time we see a shoe on the street, we wonder what happened there, since it's the wrong place for that shoe to be. I wanted to make that private pain into something public because it is not a private problem." Identify something—an object, building, or even a city—that has been abandoned or disregarded and seems to be in the "wrong place." Create a short documentary or write a story that investigates the object, where it came from, and its significance. Interview people who can help tell this story.


"Untitled," 1988-1990. Cloth shirts with plaster and steel. 5 pieces: 66 1/8 x 15 x 10 1/4 inches; 66 1/8 x 13 3/4 x 9 7/8 inches; 64 3/8 x 13 3/4 x 10 1/4 inches; 65 1/8 x 15 x 10 inches; 59 1/2 x 14 3/8 x 9 5/8 inches. Collection of Banco de la República, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá. Photo by Rita Burmester. © Doris Salcedo. Courtesy the Alexander and Bonin, New York.