Andrew Salyer


Andrew Salyer is a conceptual artist, curator, and writer. He works in various media including photography, performance, drawing, audio, video, sculpture, and installation. He has performed at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Chazen Museum of Art, Stanford University, and University of Paris-Sorbonne. His work has been exhibited at the New York Photo Festival, Darling Foundry (Montréal, Québec), University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery (Knoxville, TN), Commonwealth Gallery (Madison), Madison Public Library Central Branch, Herron Galleries (Indianapolis, IN), and the New Media Caucus’ traveling exhibition New Media Video Programme 10, and published by Ugly Duckling Presse (Brooklyn, NY) and Emmie Magazine.  He received a B.F.A. from Herron School of Art/Indiana University in Indianapolis and an M.F.A from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He is currently a PhD student in Art Theory and Practice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also co-organizes the Madison Performance Philosophy Collective and the A.W. Mellon Workshop on Art and Scholarship in Theory and Practice.









My artwork takes physical form in various media including photography, sculpture, installation, performance, drawing, audio, and video. It situates itself within a visual conversation predicated on romantic conceptualism, cultivated failures, and institutional critique, all of which contain a tentativeness in an effort to counteract the performance of resolve. The work attempts to understand, and anxiously answer, perceived moments of failure within common blueprints for language, identity, bodies, and art. There are moments within my current body of work that cite what I call romantic conceptualism. The notion of a conceptualism finds its origins in the historic avant-garde, and I attempt to read these conceptual works through Romanticism’s imagination and affective desires. I’m interested in the art/life intersection that informs much of 20th century performance art, and ideas about performativity and gender identity inform my own artwork as well as my analysis. I have been particularly concerned with cultivated failure as a practice and a trope in contemporary art.

I’m presently developing a new body of performance-based photographic and video work about falling. The forthcoming works will be in dialog with and challenge what I perceive as latent ideologies (gendered, racial, institutional) working through these artistic gestures. Although my goal will be to problematize some aspects of the ideological blueprints underpinning contemporary art, I realize even at this point in the process that my work will most likely also reinforce these same ideologies that I hope to question and subvert. However, by instigating a conversation about institutional structures in these conceptual gestures of performing for the camera, I hope new insights emerge about how certain bodies self-consciously perform, what blind-spots may exist when they turn the camera on themselves, and how spectators perceive these performances depending upon their subject positionality.