Andrew Salyer is a conceptual artist and curator. 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, performance, drawing, audio, video, sculpture, and installation. 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 a resolve. The work attempts to understand, and anxiously answer, perceived moments of failure within common blueprints for language, identity, bodies, and art. 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’ve have been particularly concerned with cultivated failure as a practice and a trope in contemporary 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 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.

In addition to his solo practice he has a collaborative practice with SALYER + SCHAAG, with whom he has exhibited and performed widely. They have also developed several creative process workshops: “Image/Text: The Performing Page” and “Collaboratory: Serious Play” at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, “Serious Play: Surrealist Experiments” at The Bubbler at Madison Public Library, and “Performance and 4D Art” at Arts + Literature Laboratory as part of the ArtWrite Collective’s Flourish! creative development series. Their play The Landscape Cracks / A Thousand Kisses was recently staged at Hemsley Theatre (Madison, WI).



Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Theory, Art Practice, and Curatorial Studies, degree expected May 2017
University of Wisconsin-Madison

M.F.A. Visual Art, May 2012
University of Wisconsin-Madison

B.F.A. Photography, May 2004
Herron School of Art & Design, Indiana University


TEACHING ASSISTANT, Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 154 Hip-hop and Contemporary Society, Spring 2017

PROJECT/TEACHING ASSISTANT, English Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, English 826: Digital Rhetoric & Tactical Media, Fall 2015; English 271: Writing for New Media and English 571: Tactical Media, Spring 2016

PROJECT ASSISTANT: Center for Visual Cultures, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014-2015; Asian American Studies Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013-2014; Center for Visual Cultures, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012-2013

PROJECT COORDINATOR, A. W. Mellon Foundation Workshop on Aesthetic Relations, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011-2012

TEACHING ASSISTANT, Digital Curriculum Development/Intro to Digital Media, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011-2012; Foundations of Contemporary Art – Art108/208, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010-2011; Instructor of Record, Foundations Studio – Drawing 1, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009-2010

ADJUNCT FACULTY, Beginning Black and White Photography, Herron School of Art & Design, Indianapolis, IN, Spring 2009

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, Fahrenheit Design, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2004-2009

CURATOR, The Photography Gallery, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2002-2004


Borghesi-Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshop in the Humanities Grant, “Art and Scholarship in Theory and Practice,” 2015-2016, Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) Graduate Summit Grant, Spring 2015, Arts Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Artist-in-Residence (Funded), Spring 2015, The Bubbler, Madison Public Library Downtown Branch

Event Grant: “The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh,” Spring 2015, Associated Students of Madison (ASM), University of Wisconsin-Madison

ASTR Fellowship, Fall 2014, American Society for Theatre Research (professional organization)

New Arts Venture Challenge 2nd Place Award, “Dream Collectors,” Spring 2014, Arts Enterprise, University of Wisconsin-Madison

A.W. Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshop in the Humanities Grant, “Art and Scholarship in Theory and Practice,” 2014-2015, Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison

A.W. Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshop in the Humanities Grant, “Art and Scholarship in Theory and Practice,” 2013-2014, Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Professional Development Travel Grant, Summer 2013, Art Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Foundations of Performance Art: Martha Wilson, Tehching Hsieh, and Linda Mary Montano
Center for the Humanities and Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, April – October 2015. Co-organized series of workshops, artist’s talks, studio visits, and performances with Katie Schaag

Mad Theory 2: A Performance Philosophy Symposium, Madison Public Library, Madison WI. Co-organized conference, with James Burling, Dijana Mitrovic, and Katie Schaag, March 2015

Theory-Practice Collaboratories for Art + Scholarship Mellon Workshop, Center for the Humanities, Madison WI. Co-organized series of symposia with Katie Schaag, September 2014 – May 2015

Mad Theory:  A Performance Philosophy Symposium, The Bubbler at Madison Public Library, Madison WI. Co-organized event, with Megan Marsh-McGlone, Dijana Mitrovic, and Katie Schaag, April 2014

Please Read Carefully (Traveling Exhibition), Big Car Gallery – Indianapolis, IN, 2014

Something: A Brief Survey of Nothing, or, Using Art to See, 1958 to 2006, Gelsy Verna Gallery, Madison, WI, 2013

Please Read Carefully, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Art Lofts, Madison, WI, 2013

Radical Amazement, Madison Jewish Artists’ Lab, University of Wisconsin-Madison Hillel Foundation, Madison, WI, 2013

 Flexuous, Commonwealth Gallery, Madison WI, co-curated multi-media exhibition and series of live art events, with Doug Rosenberg and Katrina Schaag, 2012

A Tuber-Cloud-Shaped Evening of Poetry and Performance, Gallery 6321, Madison WI, co-curated event, with Lewis Freedman and Katie Schaag, 2012

 Conney Conference, The Conney Project on Jewish Arts, Madison, WI – Art Curator, 2011

 Everything is happening [right now], Art Lofts, Madison WI – Video, Installation, and Performance, 2010

 Lucky 13, Art Lofts, Madison WI – Video, Installation, and Performance, 2009


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