Born in 1975 in New York, United States, Margaret Salmon lives and works between Kent, London, and New York. Salmon’s primary media are photography and 16mm film transferred to digital format. Informed by the documentary style of early Soviet propaganda films, American realist fiction and Cinema Vérité, Salmon’s practice explores the ways in which the common lives and struggles of ordinary men and women intersect with archetypal figures and great literary dramas. While focusing on singular individuals, Salmon’s “time-based portraits” leap from the particular to the universal, betraying the existential weight that bears down upon their repetitive, everyday actions. Despite the weariness and melancholy that envelop her working-class subjects – the fireman, the policeman, the mother, the hunter, the old woman – her works appear to affirm life by revealing the underlying beauty and fragility of these private yet worldly existences. Salmon’s films are characterized by the discrepancy between image and voice-over, alluding to her subjects’ inner thoughts without ever bridging the camera’s inherent distance.
Margaret Salmon has recently presented solo exhibitions at Office Baroque, Antwerp (2010), Projects in Art & Theory, Cologne (2008), STORE, London (2008), Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2007) and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2007). Her work has also been shown as part of the 6th Berlin Biennial (2010), “Rooms Look Back” at Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2008), “Think with the Senses. Feel with the Mind. Art in the Present Tense”, the 52nd Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2007), “KolnShow2”, Cologne (2007), “New Contemporaries” at the Barbican Art Gallery, London and the Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2006). Salmon has received The Hospital Club Film Award (2007), Le Prix Giles Dusein, Paris (2006) and MaxMara Women’s Art Prize, in association with the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2006).
Margaret Salmon is represented by Office Baroque Gallery, Antwerp.