Cut to the Crack

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“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

The line is Leonard Cohen’s. It came to mind yesterday when I noticed that for her new installation in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern in London, the Colombian artist Doris Salcedo has produced a lengthy and widening crack in the Tate’s concrete floor.

Shibboleth, Doris Salcedo, 2007 — Photo: Tate

I was reminded immediately of another crack, produced a few years ago, half a world away. In San Francisco recently I made a trip over to the De Young Museum, where the first thing you run across, literally, is Andy Goldsworthy’s Drawn Stone, a crack that procedes from the roadway in front of the museum, through the courtyard and up to the front door, along the way passing through a couple of large stone slabs used for outdooor seating.

Drawn Stone, Andy Goldsworthy, 2005 — Photo: De Young Museum

Salcedo’s piece is about racism and cultural divides. Goldsworthy’s, of course, is about tectonic plates and the San Andreas faultline. (Actually, it was originally called Faultline. Did the title make somebody at the museum nervous?)

In any case, I don’t know if all of this represents a trend, or just proof that great minds crack alike.