Critics’ Picks

View of “Teresa Margolles,” 2008.

View of “Teresa Margolles,” 2008.


Teresa Margolles

Kunsthalle Krems
Museumsplatz 5
October 2, 2008–February 15, 2009

A 115-foot acrylic band, sticky with an ocher substance that appears to be human blood mixed with water, welcomes visitors to Teresa Margolles’s exhibition. Titled “En Lugar de los Hechos” (In Place of the Facts), Margolles’s exhibition draws attention to a region in Mexico where inhumane acts and insensitivity to people in pain flourish as a result of drug-related offenses. Near the entrance, six plastic gasoline containers, composing Sangre Recuperada (Recovered Blood), 2008, also present the dark-hued mixture. On an adjacent wall, the thirty-seven works in Pinturas de Sangre (Paintings of Blood), 2008, are installed, salon-style, from the floor to the ceiling. This installation features cloths that Margolles used to clean crime scenes from January to June 2008 in Sinaloa––a state in western Mexico where crimes and deaths have increased dramatically in recent years.

The connection between art and the news is explored in memorial dossiers that visitors may take, which include articles from the Periódico Noroeste, a daily newspaper in Sinaloa, regarding the crime scenes Margolles visited. Overall, the works in this exhibition attempt to return to these anonymous corpses their individuality, through poetic and minimal gestures that connect the victims with the symbolic remains of their bodies. It is an exploration of memory more than of death.