Since 1990 Teresa Margolles (born in 1963 in Culiacan/Sinaloa, Mexico, living in Mexico City) has been a member of the group SEMEFO (Servicio Médico Forense). Together with her colleagues, she performs, creates installations, and carries out interventions in public space.
In addition, she also works alone, and has made a name for herself particularly for her artistic preoccupation with death, the socio-political factors preceding it, and ensuing phenomena such as crime, poverty, exploitation, organ trading, and the funeral business. “Margolles hardly works with human remains; much rather, she uses the traces of life gone by, concealing, burying, and remembering them. These nameless and anonymous victims are reminiscent of the inhumane conditions prevailing in our modern-day mass societies” that are utter failures (Michael Nungesser). In her series of photographs entitled “Posthumous Messages” she combines motifs depicting empty, dilapidated movie theaters in Guadalajara with excerpts from messages written by people who committed suicide. Above the entrance of “Cine Estudiante”, for example, we can read “I was constantly put down by my own family”—the last note penned by a 19-year-old. Failure is expressed as a desperate last-resort measure. It is not just the failure of a 19-year-old that takes center stage but also the failure of a society which compels people to take this drastic and final step.