4. Teresa Margolles

Born 1963 in Culican, Mexico
Lives and works in Mexico City and Madrid, Spain

Aproximación al Lugar de los Hechos (Proximity to the scene)
video, sound, colour
54:30 mins

Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney
Courtesy the artist
Galerie Peter Kilchmann is gratefully acknowledged
The artist also acknowledges student volunteers from The National Art School: Terhi Hakola, Nathan Hale, Carolyn Lee

The stabbed body, open in multiple wounds, in its interior lays the evaporating remains, drop by drop like a never closing wound, always suppurating.”

This work references the places where homicides and disappearances of women have occurred. The violent events took place in Sydney and its surrounding suburbs. Teresa Margolles’ work is an accumulation of violent acts, plotted through a complex memorial to lives lost and to sites where trauma continues to resonate and bare material traces of the violence perpetrated. Margolles visited sites where women and trans women have been murdered.

The blood that has soaked into the sites, the hair and body odour, are remembered amongst the sites’ other accumulated particles. These particles are collected through sponging the sites with water – collecting what residue remains – of which we are all witnesses.

Margolles and a group of participants, students from the National Art School, developed performative actions to collect the essence of each scene using water and absorbing material from the site. These actions, here documented on video, also inform Margolles’ installation at the Biennale of Sydney, a room defined by a perimeter of red industrial curtains, in the interior of which are 20 steaming iron plates on which drops of water fall. This is the water that was absorbed in the documented and aforementioned scenes.