Rodríguez Salceda’s photographs of women function simultaneously as psychological portraits as well as signifiers of a larger social phenomena. Drawing influence from both visual artists, such as Francesca Woodman and Sophie Calle, as well as avant garde choreographers and directors, including Pina Bausch and Romeo Castellucci, Rodríguez Salceda’s project is highly performative in nature and questions deeply the roles and conventions that society imposes on women and, more broadly, on art.
Though Rodríguez Salceda ultimately blacks out the individual faces of her models, a gesture that lends them both anonymity and universality, all of the women that she picks as subjects are close friends, often artists or performers themselves. Taking stereotypical ideas of femininity as her jumping off point, Rodríguez Salceda proposes a psychological alter ego for each model – for example, the fallen woman or, conversely, the rebel. The model is then introduced into a domestic setting and asked to position her body in relation to this site. In this way, photographer and model are able to develop together the identity of the portrait’s subject. The interior world of this persona is manifested both in the bodily contortions of the sitter and the framing and collapsed perspectives selected by the photographer. Though with each new model the process varies, commonalities quickly become evident amongst the different series of photographs. These characters, fictional inventions of more than one author, come to be seen as individual strands – or episodes- of an implicit master narrative.
Narrative also plays an important role in the one video work presented here,
-Art Fight-, which is tied more directly to Rodríguez Salceda’s own history as an artist. In this work, the artist superimposes her face on early 20th century medical photos, using animation to create an internal dialog. It was made during a 15-month period of legal limbo, when she was stuck in the US, both unable to work legally and unable to leave because of her immigration status.
Rocío Rodríguez Salceda was born in Madrid, Spain in 1977. She received a BFA from Complutense University of Madrid. After graduating in 2001, Rocío moved to Barcelona where she taught Photography at the University until the summer of 2006. Rocío received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2008. Last year she was a resident at Vermont Studio Center which she attended on a full VSC & National Endowments for the Arts fellowship. Her work has been shown internationally. Most recently she participated at the show #Class organized by Jenn Dalton and William Powhida in Winkleman Gallery, Chelsea. She currently teaches at James Baldwin School in Manhattan, and has previously taught at Trade School and Anhoek School for women in the city. Rodríguez Salceda is an official collaborator of the School of Fine Arts in Madrid and is preparing a solo performance at El Prado Museum for November 2010.