BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Some art is meant to change the world, and that certainly can be said of most things Doris Salcedo has made. Her works warn of the horrors that a war can unleash, particularly on women, and specifically the one she lived through, which ripped apart her native Colombia for 52 years. But sometimes things work the other way around, and world events change art. That is what happened to “Fragmentos,” the 5,000-square-foot, walk-through installation Ms. Salcedo completed in downtown Bogotá in December. The piece is formed from 37 tons of rifles turned in by 13,000 rebels as part of a peace agreement signed with the government in 2016. The artist melted them down in a foundry and employed women who had suffered physical and sexual abuse during the conflict to help shape the steel into 1,296 rough tiles, which were then laid on the floor of a new monument and gallery constructed around the ruins of a 17th-century colonial house. “Fragmentos,” though solemn and simple, was intended to commemorate peace. But peace is unraveling. The government was slow to follow through on promises to invest in rural areas where extreme poverty led to violence in the first… Read full this story
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