Teresa Margolles was born in 1963 in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. She currently lives and works in Mexico City.
Margolles was originally trained as a forensic pathologist, she holds a degree in Forensic Medicine and another in Communication Science from the Universidad Nacional in Mexico. Teresa Margolles’ works examine the social causes and consequences of death. For her, the morgue accurately reflects society, particularly her home area where deaths caused by drug-related crimes, 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. In 2012 she was awarded with the Artes Mundi award, while in 2013 she received the prestigious Prince Claus Award “for creating powerful artworks that demand attention to violence, poverty and the alienation of society.”
Her work has been shown internationally in institutions such as the the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2007) in New York, US; the Kunsthalle in Vienna, Austria (2007); the Centre d’Art Contemporain of Brétigny, France (2006), Project Arcaute Art Contemporaneo (2008), Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros (2010), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2010), Kunsthalle Fridericianum (2010), Tate Modern in London, England (2012); the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC 2012); the MALBA Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2008); the Museo del Barrio (2008) and Museum of Modern art of Mexico (2011) Neuberger Museum of Art (2016), Musée d;Art Contemporain de Montrèal (2017), The Museum für Moderne Kunst of Frankfurt, Germany (2004); P.S.1/MoMa in New York, US (2002); the Kunst-Werke in Berlin, Germany (2002) and the South London Gallery, England (2002), among many others.
She has participated in many Biennials as Los Angeles (2016) European Biennial for Contemporary Art, Zurich (2016) Basel (2013), Berlin (2012), Moscow (2007), Liverpool (2006), Prague (2005), Mercosul (2003) and Cuenca (2002). Her project What Else Could We Talk About? curated by Cuauhtémoc Medina was presented in the Mexican Pavilion in the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.