Margaret Salmon

Adapting techniques drawn from cinematic movements such as Cinema Vérité, Italian Neo-Realism and the European avant-garde, Margaret Salmon’s filmic orchestrations of sound and image introduce formal abstractions as well as spatial interventions into the tradition of realist film. Often focusing on individual subjects, Salmon’s work captures the minutiae of the everyday human experience, infusing it with a sense of poignancy, poetry, subtle grandeur, lyricism and abstraction. Might it be possible for film to transcribe something as ephemeral as human warmth? Affection? Presence, trust and submission? What about love? Can film bear witness to love? Express love? How can a lens invoke these very personal subjective experiences? These are some of the questions that lie at the heart of her highly evocative filmic practice. I you me we us (2018) is a two-channel, 16 mm silent film presented on two stacked cube monitors. In this work, hands of family members and lovers make gestures, play, move, touch and write small notes, interspersed with depictions of plants and flowers held under coloured lights. The film features close-up shots that focus on the intimacy of showing affection with our touch. It portrays visual representations of warmth, empathy, care, kinship and growth. In contrast to the dematerialised, disembodied world of the internet, Salmon’s work is a poignant reminder of the most important component of love, affection, care and kinship: human presence and interaction. This work and her work in general can be seen as an antidote to capitalistic and commodified representations of sex that are often entirely divorced from the reality of our bodies and the sexual relationships we cultivate with others.

Margaret Salmon