Alex Dolores Salerno


Artist2Artist Fellowship


Informed by queer-crip experience, community, and culture, I work to critique standards of productivity, notions of normative embodiment, and the commodification of rest. My interdisciplinary practice foregrounds interdependence through materials and encounters with both sites of and barriers to care, rest, and togetherness. This often includes used, found or accumulated objects, as well as slow pacing, sensory exploration, collaboration and the materiality of access. Bedding is one of my primary materials which allows me to explore the bed as a site of collectivity and protest, as well as redefine what is typically considered to count as “work”. Blending materials from domestic, natural, and workplace settings, such as diamond-plate flooring, coffee beans, sweat stained memory foam or time spent outdoors, I address the incompatibility of our needs with societal values of self-reliance, “hard work” and individualism. These tensions ask us to embrace slowness as well as recognize our needs which are too often suppressed, consciously or unconsciously, to conform to white supremacist ideals of urgency, perfectionism, professionalism, and endless productivity. At the core of my practice is the invitation to embrace our needs and ways of being without shame, and I argue that to celebrate diverse bodyminds requires an anti-capitalist reconfiguration of time and value. While the work speaks to the expansiveness of the self, specifics regarding the body and identity often remain opaque. Negating the demand placed on marginalized groups to provide an explanation or diagnosis, to reveal or obscure becomes a tactic in my practice as I navigate the politics of visibility, 24/7 society, and my own access needs as a chronically ill autistic trans person.

Featured Image: Alex Dolores Salerno, ACCRESCENCE, 2023. Coffee Beans, Portable Massage Chair, Thread and Paint, 43.5” x 63” x 45.” Courtesy of the artist.

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At Work (In Protest and in Care), 2018. Used Memory Foam Mattress Topper and Diamond Plate Rubber Flooring, 75" x 54" x 2." Courtesy of the artist.
Burl Wood, 2023. Digital C-Print, 30” x 30.” Courtesy of the artist.
Pillow Fight, 2019 - Ongoing. Used Pillowcases and Used Medical Supplies, Dimensions Variable. Courtesy of Museum für Moderne Kunst and Axel Schneider.
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