Margaret Salmon at DCA

Margaret Salmon’s show at DCA is dealing with things my work has skirted around at times, but while I’ve come (ahem) at notions of love and intimacy by implying that the screen itself is both a barrier and a conduit of desire and touch, a semi-permeable membrane, a bad condom, Salmon plunges us right into the bedroom on (digitised) 16mm. Fascinating to watch the audience react to this work as if they’re watching porn – at one point the entire room got up and left, post-orgasm. The notes on DCA website ask the right questions, on the work I’m still undecided…

‘Might it be possible for film to transcribe something as ephemeral as human warmth? Human affection? Human presence, trust and submission? What about love? Can film bear witness to love? Teach us about love? Express love? How can a lens invoke these very personal, subjective experiences? These are some of the questions posed by Margaret Salmon in her newly commissioned work for Gallery 1 at DCA.

Hole is about our bodies and the intimate human connections we seek with others. In an immersive installation that uses light, colour, heat and sound to envelop a viewer within the space, Salmon seeks to create an atmosphere of warmth, comfort and radiance to step into over the cold winter months. At the heart of this exhibition is a new 16mm work that uses a female erotic gaze to look for places where love might be found in contemporary life and to explore what might constitute supporting, loving relationships today.

Salmon is known for creating filmic portraits that weave together poetry and ethnography. Often focusing on individual subjects, her work captures the minutiae of the everyday human experience, infusing it with a sense of poignancy and subtle grandeur. Adapting techniques drawn from cinematic movements such as Cinema Vérité and the European avant-garde, Salmon’s orchestrations of sound and image introduce formal abstractions as well as environmental interventions into the tradition of realist film.

About Margaret Salmon

Margaret Salmon (b. 1975, New York) lives and works in Glasgow. She completed undergraduate studies at the School of Visual Arts, New York (1998), before going on to graduate from the MFA programme at the Royal College of Art, London (2003). Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at institutions including Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (2015); Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, USA (2011); Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2007); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2007) and Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2006). Her work has been featured in film festivals and major international survey exhibitions, including the Berlin Biennale (2010) and Venice Biennale (2007). In 2006 Salmon won the inaugural MaxMara Art Prize for Women. She is represented by Office Baroque, Brussels.

Please note that this exhibition contains adult imagery that is not suitable for children: please see the advisory notes and/or speak to a member of staff for more information.’

From the DCA website