Teresa Margolles Mexico

Teresa Margolles (1963, Culiacán, Sinaloa) is a visual artist who examines the social causes and consequences of death. Early work with the underground music group SEMEFO focused directly on death through gruesome images, but her experience in the city morgue, which receives the bodies of victims of violence, those who cannot afford a funeral and the unrecognised and unclaimed, led her to deeper social engagement. For Margolles, the morgue accurately reflects society, particularly her home area where deaths caused by drug-related crime, poverty, political crisis and government’s brutal military response have devastated communities. She has developed a unique, restrained language in order to speak for her silenced subjects, the victims discounted as ‘collateral damage’ and nameless statistics.

Report from the 2012 Prince Claus Awards Committee here.