Fourth Year Award Submission
Shay Salehi is a Toronto based artist utilizing interdisciplinary sculpture and installation to explore cycles within the human condition.
My practice has been an observation and exploration of the systems, patterns and processes that inhabit everyday space. As a first gen. Canadian artist I find myself interested in the intersection between cycles, culture and the socioeconomic climate. Through research and installations I investigate belief systems, how we chose to question the validity of this framework and how we can find paths towards change. My work can be described as mixed media, sometimes playing with kinetic elements, video, light, sound, scent and space.
In my installations, cycles or patterns emerge, either by the self-defeat built into the object or through the cyclical nature of the work. These cycles are the core of my work, by not only analyzing and trying to breakdown what routine or cyclical patterns are, but by also navigating through it’s own struggle as well. I have referred to these projects as “self defeating”, as there is something within the work’s inherent nature that does not allow the piece to achieve an end.
Shay recently graduated with a BFA in Sculpture and Installation at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCADU). Previous to OCADU, Shay studied glasswork at Sheridan College (2011-2014), and continues to make sculptural glasswork.
Tedious & Brief, 2019
4' x 7' x 2'
Windshield wiper, motor, laser cut acrylic, wall mounts, pump and accessories
In this installation, a windshield wiper eagerly moves across a sheet of acrylic in an attempt to rid the material from the water pouring above. The wiper is connected to a motor that controls it to move in a circular clockwise motion on a square sheet of acrylic. The shape of the acrylic, the wiper arm and the shape the wiper creates, all give a subtle connotation to a clocklike form. On the front of the acrylic, there is text proclaiming the name of the work itself.
Tedious and Brief evaluates how we troubleshoot, how we problem solve and how we find resolutions. Similar to how the wiper moves frantically across the acrylic, forcing water everywhere, I wonder how my own movements mirror this action. This work deconstructs the perpetual effort to solve something that may not be able to be solved. The wiper has been given a purpose that is beyond the world we experience and its urgency reflects anxiety which we may have all experienced.
Nothing Changes if… , 2019
4' x 18"x 1'
wall mounted LED screen
Nothing Changes if… is an LED screen with scrolling red text. The text repeats the phrase NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES on a continuous loop. This piece introduces the idea that nothing can change without starting with change. The viewer is being informed by the work that without this first step, nothing, in fact, can change. By recognizing material, both the LED screen and text, the work discusses freedom and social change, the human experience, and the organization and breakdown of mental structures.
Interacting with your Existence, 2020
12" x 12" x 4'
Acrylic, aluminium, pump, sous-vide, thermochromic pigment, tubes
My thesis research led me into investigating habits and how they operate within our lives. Habits are stored at the core of our brain and as we learn new habits they layer over this core.
Regardless of new habits we adapt to, these preliminary habits don’t vanish, instead they are dormant, waiting for us to return. I became interested in how this system operates without our body and this installation is in direct correlation with this research.
The top container is full of thermochromic pigment with a tube that connects it into the bottom container. The bottom container has a sous-vide controlling the temperature of the liquid. There is a pump that is bringing the liquid from the bottom container into the top, and by doing so, changing the colour of the pigment. These containers are eternally linked through this artery, one being aimless without the other.
not OK computer, 2020
3' x 3' x 2'
Text written by Eva Arriaga (https://exesandohnos.com/)
Dell Optiplex GX110 desktop computer running Windows 2000, 256MB RAM, CRT monitor, keyboard and mouse
not OK Computer is a CRT monitor and desktop computer that recites a poem, only to erase the poem and repeat it again. The computer is tethered to this fate, with no possibility of change. The poem reflects feelings of loneliness in a time of necessary isolation during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The computer recollects the memory of abandonment, outdated and forgotten it lives suspended within this space. By connecting the sentient to technology there is an attempt to acknowledge how, and if, these emotions can exist beyond the human experience.
The password to this video is: notOKcomputer
"It allows us to imagine, I think, a world where the material around us— the denim of your jeans, the glass of your watch crystal, the wood of your chair set—has, as the object of its desire, perhaps, the desire to be some other object. . . . A secret life of things that is irreducible to the object forms with which we have constructed and constricted our world. And it is the recognition of that life, I think, that holds some premise for transforming life as we know it."
- Bill Brown, Objects, Others and Us (The Refabrication of Things)