Alex Dolores Salerno
Artist Bio

Alex Dolores Salerno (b. 1994, Washington D.C.) is a conceptual interdisciplinary artist. Salerno received their B.S. in Studio Art at Skidmore College and is an M.F.A. candidate at Parsons School of Design. In their practice they explore the labor of embodiment through themes of care, interdependency, and the mutability and multiplicity of bodies. They received the Jules Maidoff Award for Best Student Artwork (2016) at Studio Arts College International in Florence, Italy, and the Jesse Solomon Memorial Award (2016) at Skidmore College. Salerno has exhibited at The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum, The New School, IA&A at Hillyer, among others. They live and work in New York City.

At Work (In Protest and In Care), 2018-ongoing

Used Memory Foam Mattress Topper and Diamond Plated Rubber Flooring
54" x 75"

Pillow FIght, 2019

Sweat Stained Pillow Cases and Used Medical Paraphernalia

Bond, 2018

Bondage Tape and Steel
30" x 18" x 14"

Support Structures (01), 2018 - ongoing

Mycelium with Kenaf Substrate
Dimensions Variable

One or Several Ghosts, 2019

Used Memory Foam Mattress and Diamond Plated Rubber Flooring

Stretched and Held, 2018

Sweat Stained Medical Binder and Steal
30.5" x 13.5" x 8"

Pillow Talk, 2017

Stained Pillow Cases, Used Injection Needles and Syringes, Yarn, Memory Foam
30" x 18" x 9" each

Collaboration with Francisco Eraso Jr. Perfect Lovers, 2018-ongoing

Glass Jars, Medical Ephemera and Hospital Gowns
Dimensions Variable

Artist Statement

In their interdisciplinary practice, Alex Dolores Salerno explores the labor of embodiment and aims to disrupt the self as singular, legible, linear, and normatively “human”. Their work is informed by issues of care, interdependency, and the mutability and multiplicity of bodies, as well as theoretical concepts such the rhizome, opacity, and the nonhuman turn.

Considering the expansiveness of what constitutes the body, Salerno uses a range of materials and structures that support or share intimacy with bodies. In the ongoing project Support Structures,they investigate mycelium’s rhizomatic structure, and the indeterminacy of fungal growth in a series of sculptures of cast mycelium, to address the resiliency and potentials of our own bodies. Support Structures 01, comprised of casts of pill bottles collected from the artist, as well as family and friends, asks us to reconsider what constitutes our care while entangled in the medical industrial complex and with each other. Support Structures 02is a cast of a shelf and a pedestal and asks us to look to structures of support themselves. They are fragile, both offering support and demonstrating precarity.

Other sculptural work often incorporates bodily ephemera, a term Salerno uses to encompass the leftover material and traces of the labor of embodiment. Bodily ephemera are typically used materials from the artist’s life. Works such as Perfect Lovers (2018 – ongoing, Collaboration with Francisco Eraso Jr.) and Pillow Talk (2017- ongoing) incorporate medical paraphernalia with other objects, referencing times of care. At Work (In Protest and In Care) (2018 – ongoing) combines a used memory foam mattress topper and diamond plated rubber flooring to suggest the body in constant labor. Materials in Salerno’s work connote the labor and handmade quality of the body, while specifics regarding identity remain opaque.