Naomi Salaman is an artist and curator whose work is about the archive, art education and the body.
Her projects, publications and exhibitions have investigated practices and legacies we take for granted in the art school, the library and the museum, considering technological and institutional histories from a feminist perspective.
Naomi Salaman works collaboratively with other artists and theorists on projects which aim to investigate an area of debate and theory within the possible and impossible spaces of fine art practice and exhibition. Her visual practice and written texts come together in research and exhibition projects
Naomi Salaman's practice is based in photography and fine art informed by post-structuralism and feminism. Projects to date have come out of an interest in images and her involvement in the critique of the image.
Naomi has written on, made work on and curated exhibitions about pornography and censorship, art pedagogy, image technologies and the history of vision. Her visual practice and written texts come together in projects such as 'What She Wants' (1994); 'Postcards on Photography' (1999); 'Nothing is Hidden' (2000), 'Changed Press marks of the Private Case' (2001); 'Looking Back at the Life Room' (2010).
Her practice is research based, involving photography and photography critique. Her PhD 'Looking Back at the Life Room,' (2008), involved extensive travel over ten years to European art schools, photographing life rooms and gathering images in libraries and collections. One of the intentions of the thesis was to reconsider the relationship between the theory and practice of art within an historical framework. One of the questions that came out of the visual practice of the thesis was to do with image sequences. If the images used in the thesis fluctuate from illustration within the text to nodal points or hinges for ideas, can a series of images approach the essay form?
The exhibition from the project was produced with the curators at the Strang Print Room, University College London. The installation consisted of her photographic series, extracts from her visual archive and original historical prints loaned for the exhibition.
Naomi organised an international conference in conjunction with her exhibition at UCL in June 2010, which addressed the history of art education and some current polemics. Two subsequent publications represent the Life Rooms and the Anatomy Rooms contextualised by texts on space and gender, art theory and art practice, and questions in contemporary fine art education.
Whilst working on her doctorate, Salaman went on a family visit to Orissa in India, and became aware and involved in tribal resistance to the aluminium industry. She developed an interest in the human and ecological costs of producing aluminium, and how little seems to be known about that here, even in the schools and departments that make use of it. She is now part of an interdisciplinary research group considering the juncture between the ecological and human costs of producing aluminium and the practices of art, design and architecture that use it and depend on it.
Naomi has taught studio art and art theory courses in art and photography schools nationally, and has taught fine art at University of Brighton since 1998.
Salaman, Naomi (2015) Art theory - handmaiden of neoliberalism? Journal of Visual Art Practice, 14 (2). pp. 162-173. ISSN 1470-2029
Salaman, Naomi (2010) Looking back at the life room: a project by Naomi Salaman [Exhibition]
Pod cast interview Naomi Salaman and images from the exhibition 'Looking Back at the Life Room' :
Conference convenor, introductory speaker, and chair for the last session, "Art Schools: Invention, invective and radical possibilities" (2008). Artists talks: Looking Back at the Life Room - UCL, Strang Print Room Gallery Tour for Royal Academy, Slade Summer School
Doctorate completed 'Looking Back at the Life Room;' PhD in visual practice, Goldsmiths College London, Supervised by Victor Burgin and Stephen Johnstone, for online access to the intro and first chapter and all the Chapter Maps. Link to entire thesis at the British Library.
Hospital - Operation in Process screening at The Old Operating Theatre, London
Conference: TIP 3 (Theory in Practice), at Lazareti, Dubrovnik. Presenting of a chapter from thesis 'A reading of the entrance frieze at Künste Hochschule Berlin.'
'The Taxonomic Effect,' from Nothing is Hidden (2001), web published in journalArt Omma, no 10 Archiving; Theory and Practice ed. Nayia Yiakoumaki.
Changed Press Marks of the Private Case, web published in the Artists Project Room no 9, at Art Omma.
‘Sculpture Now’, round-table discussion published in Objects For... and Other Things, Phyllida Barlow, Black Dog. ISBN 1 901033597
Gallery Talk: The Photographers Gallery; in conversation with Efrat Shvilly
Exhibition: Revolution Machine. Group show, Pugh Pugh Gallery Berlin
Article: Accumulation in Stages of Mourning on Sarah Pucill’s film Stages of Mourning, (2003) published by University of Westminster, as a poster.
International touring exhibition
POTENTIAL – On going Archive, group exhibition and catalogue, at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton University; Tent Rotterdam, Netherlands
Conference papers/artists' talks
Exhibition: Sunday Drive event- Five Years Gallery, Underwood St., London. Stereoscopic drawing of Raccolta Pornografica
Artists publication: Changed Press Marks of the Private Case. Artists limited edition microfilm Parapraxis1898. Artists limited edition hardback book
Article: Essay on the work of Shirnin Neshat, in the German web film theory magazine available at
London Arts Artists - exhibition production funding
Arts and Humanity Research Board, PhD Practice Research Funding 3 years full time,
New York University in London, Artists Travel Grant to visit Art Academies
London Arts Board - Artists grant
Yorkshire Sculpture Park - writing grant for 'Nothing is Hidden'.
Arts Council Exhibition and publication funding for Post Cards on Photography.
Arts Council Photography Publication Grant (with Verso Books)
Arts Council exhibition funding for What She Wants
Arts Council exhibition development Grant