PEREGRINEPROGRAM presents “Room for Views,” an installation by David Salkin.
Trained in architecture, Salkin’s usual practice involves manipulating plans and grids to form patterns and images that are meant to be inhabited and read as prototypes for new urban formations….
Here in “Room for Views,” the artist implements an array of patterns within materials with the hopes of discovering a therapeutic and highly customized environment. Built with silk, cotton, polyester, nylon mesh, resin, cardboard, vinyl, and a variety of smaller ready-made objects, the furnishings are assembled in the exhibition space, describing what the designer’s ideal room would resemble.
In their individual manifestations, the patterns seem to confound. A checkerboard design in the quilt is an instance of how figure and ground can be clearly inferred, yet it is not clear whether this is an unnavigable plan, or a mysteriously structured tessellation. Other maneuvers, such as the use of color, keep things further in flux. For example, in a series of vinyl banners, the reading of an urban representation is suggested but only so, as positive and negative elements are confused. Yet what is confounding is also perhaps fruitful, as “Someone Else’s Maquette,” an indeterminate and sly construction suggests. Salkin’s point is, the identification of any programmable elements might elude, but also delight us.
Multiplicities here collide and as importantly connect. All hanging like walls, the repetitious banners that appear to flicker and frame time are juxtaposed with a unique cotton quilt, an article that unfolds quite different metaphoric and temporal dimensions. The quilt bears a man-made design with organic variations in its internal repetitions, somehow mimicking but not quite surpassing what nature commands. Pyrite fragments and a taxidermy leopard head articulate their own fluent geometry and symmetry, and one could indeed be beguiled by the wonderful and exotic. Yet, equally dazzling is a hand-knotted silk rug that solidifies the use of this aesthetic ideal for real life outside a gallery setting. More than a whimsical grouping of textures, Salkin’s assemblage aims to direct our attention to what we value. The gathering of this gamut of patterned materials, including plants, a resin tile city and a “Biodome,” remind us of the many ways our material environment is ordered: in systems, in hierarchies, and most of all, in our heads.
David Salkin is from Sarasota, Florida and studied Architecture at Tulane University in New Orleans. He currently lives and works in Chicago.