On the realtime altering of perception 2017.
Michael saluRead More
A visual stream of consciousness*
*all original works
On the realtime altering of perception 2017.
Michael saluRead More
A Film by Michael Salu. 36 mins single channel. Cinematography by Jacob Robinson. “One may say that the Negro in America does not really exist, except in the darkness of our minds.” James Baldwin Shot in a single unscripted take, Yesterday is personal reflection on the hypersexualised and lucrative commodity of the black male image. Globally, yet most explicitly in America, the image or representation of the black male forms many of the building blocks of the economic infrastructure and gains of today’s consumer class. From a privatised penitentiary system, right through to corporate conglomerates such as Apple, the image and the narrative of the black male is that of an indefatigable commodity within the American dream. This is probably most explicitly witnessed within the evolution of Hip Hop over the last twenty years from street-level oratory urgency and anger to becoming the defacto, benign middle class corporatised ‘urbanity’. High fashion's appropriation of said urbanity and even the proliferation of ‘ebonics’ within internet vernacular also adds to this discourse of a perpetually prolific commodification. Yet, but no different to ‘yesterday’, the black male image is almost completely disconnected from its lucrative economic value, increasingly so today given the top heavy trickle down from the large corporations buying up the language of the street and reselling their own voices back to them at a 500% mark up. Brilliantly re-affirming the unattainability of the American Dream. The sheen of high fashion markets the parallel tropes of fear and desire of the black image back to us, the broader consumer market led principally by white male patriarchy allow us to consume this image, adopt its stance and its language, without ever really thinking about its restricted social or economic position within our globalised consumer society. The ‘Thug Life’ meme phenomena is an acute observation of this reality. The sheen of high production and inevitable inherently politicised sexuality also masks the core experience within this film. We do not see this male’s real experiences beyond the mediatised (desired or demonised) version of him. We do not see him vulnerable, or lonely, or even just having a haircut. Even the hair that is being cut comes with an inherent mystery still prevalent in conversation as why try to understand what dreadlocks are. The film could only be really made once, as such a ritual would take another ten years or so to reproduce organically calling into question the relevance of materiality or authenticity. The ritual itself takes a flagellatory stance, questioning the codes of representation and ultimately the futility of chasing a visual representation of identity within an image culture the black male has little control of. Asked within the film through its length, subject and static frame, is whether socio-economic position of blackness is escapable? Can there ever be a psychological reprieve from something systematically part of the foundations of how our modern world was built? Can you sit with this film through its banal duration and maybe also reflect on that which is inescapable from the black male who can not click away or close the browser window, as witnessed in the lives of many and those we’ve seen through the mediatised filter witness their own end through this hegemony. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin. They were clearly not cut in on the deal and nor could they just look away. This film was exhibited on The Great Wall of Oalkand in 2016. http://www.michaelsalu.com/art/#/yest...Read More
An Act of Complicit Violence.
In Walker Evans and James Agee’s 1936 book “Let us now Praise Famous Men”, Evans and Agee conspired to illustrate the life of American sharecropper’s plight during Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal highlighting the struggles of Americans living during the dust bowl years and the resulting poverty that ensued. Saccharine to the point of decay, the assignment was funded by Fortune magazine for which Evans worked.
Presently, Brad Feuerhelm has taken the iconic photo-literary tract of Evans and Agee and has appropriated the tract to inverse the use of the photographic image in a political dialogue through the act of violent destruction by physically shooting all 200+ copies of the book point blank with a glock .45 in the summer of 2014. The author was in his words “at war with the obnoxiously persistent and tentacled filament of the military industrial complex in America and the societal Disneyland (absurdity) that has invoked complacency over the mechanics of it at large”.
Perhaps direct and somewhat abusive, the bullet that pierces each of the pages transcends the nominal photo-book into that of an anti-iconographic relic. The book becomes object in which violence has occurred and each of the portraits becomes a transgressive display of intolerance towards societal disregard for the economic war machine. Heads of several multi-national arms corporations, both domestic and international find their own image torn asunder by a violent act. The irony of which is that the book itself becomes an object to be re-sold to an audience pointing at the cyclical and futile irony of the presiding problem of complacency within the ever-expanding pursuit of capital largess through arms and military equipment sales. Possibly the first book to be physically shot in such a manner, the accompanying text by Feuerhelm and Michael Salu point combatively to the problems of becoming complacent under life at its extremes.Read More
Single channel film. 6 minutes. 2016.
A man alone with the night. Commissioned specially for Piano Day 2016, Nocturnes is a small film exploring intimacy and the procreative power of insomnia. Piano Day is a worldwide celebration of the Piano founded by Nils Frahm.
Director: Michael Salu Featuring: Adam Longman Parker Director of Photography: Lukas Feigelfeld Sound mixing and location: Vox-Ton Studios BerlinRead More
Grandmother didn’t forget. Digital, 2018.
One of a series of digital paintings.
Michael SaluRead More
On synthesised experience.
Digital to giclee print. 2018.Read More
Memory before dream.
On the evolution of privacy.
Digital, 2018.Read More
The Gaze of Orpheus. Digital. 2018.Read More
How to live smartly in the future
Mixed media series. 2018.Read More
Mixed media collage. 2018.Read More
Opprobrium. Single colour screenprint. 2015.Read More
The Swarm: On the dictatorial drivers of language and perceptionRead More
Opprobrium. Limited edition print.Read More