Stiffened Fabric Sculptures Probe Intimacy in an Online Age

Cecilia Salam's 'Intimacy Shades' are sort of like if digital sculptures suddenly appeared in the physical world.

Anya Tchoupakov

Intimacy Shades Romance 1 and 2. All images courtesy the artist

With the proliferation of the digital world into everyday life, language and perception have changed (along with, you know, pretty much everything else). Words like “web,” “mouse,” and “cookies” suddenly have double-meanings. For Cecilia Salama, an abstract artist who explores the relationship between the visual and the tactile, the term “domain” is the lens through which she examines our current internet lifestyle trends.

Her show domain/domain at The Java Project in Brooklyn runs through October 15. According to the press release, it “is the contemplation on the fluid state in which we live our lives—half physical, half connected by a computer.” The works displayed are themselves a fusion of physical and digital: the prints are actually made of images of the sculptural work in process. “Digital/physical motifs are focused on one particular room in a house... prints are then turned into stiffened/fabric pieces called ‘intimacy shades,’ and mats for the front door,” a process whose physicality runs in stark contrast to the digital themes being explored.  


Afterparty (detail)



The show asks difficult questions such as: “when does the domain of the website you visit infiltrate the domain of your home?” and is part of a post-internet movement to create art that deals with this very modern paradigm shift towards the merger between the physical and digital worlds. It brings up questions of creation and privacy and choice: does the internet make us safer or more vulnerable, or paradoxically both at the same time? Is there a place we can take refuge from it, and is there a way to successfully accept and unite with it? Thankfully, artists like Salama may be at the forefront of working out some answers.


On My Watch List


Romance 1

Visit Cecilia Salama's website for more. 


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