Worth Their Salt
“Worth Their Salt”
The availability and control of salt has built empires, amassed fortunes, and made men.
It’s lack has toppled the same.
The scarcity of salt at times elevated its value above gold, and certainly above the lives of others.
This capitalistic locus of trade and greed conjured sayings such as “worth their salt”- when a person was considered valuable enough to keep around if their perceived social value or labor was worth more than the salt they required. A “salary,” as the Romans called it.
The average human body holds roughly 1.25 cups of salt in composition.
Michael Reinsch, the bearer of Albatross, has been asked to risk spilling as much.
In this gestural work, a pendant composed of salt shakers filled with salt is worn. As the bearer moves about, the vital mineral will spill. This action is at least threefold in consequence:
As the vessels empty, their lack will become evident- the substance of wealth and preservation lost- something akin to an emptying hourglass. This fleeting moment.
As the vessels empty, they are literally salting the earth- an ancient ritualized curse on the re-inhabitation of a city (or in this case, Pearl District). A person’s impact.
As the vessels empty, a temporary trail showing Michael’s path may be shown, similar perhaps to that haphazard trail of breadcrumbs. Perhaps inconvenient to galleries.
Salt, this item of preservation, became a symbol of long life, the bonds of relationships, and wealth. In turn, the spilling of it became an ill omen which could jeopardize these.
Vincent Aloia creates discrete objects, finite situations, and paintings to examine relationships with social and physical engagement, control, boundary creation, and transgression. He is a maker of mischievous interdisciplinary pieces, often of interactive intent.
He explores choice and consequence through structures and imagery utilizing play, violence, touch, and humor. He uses objects and moments to reflect on the shifting social contracts that form both everyday interactions, the dynamics of art community, and the current tumultuous economic and political climate.
Aloia is perhaps best known for his participatory sculptures and the corresponding activation of audience through their engagement. Studying interaction patterns, he produces objects and paintings that may present potential for physical engagement through their form, function, content, and material- sometimes to the point of the work’s destruction. The debris, tools, and recollections from these events then serve as a point of reflection- remnants of individual choices and group dynamics. The joy of fleeting moments, precarious structure, and above all- the will to engage is celebrated in these works. Vincent is continuously in awe of the people around him.
Vincent Aloia is an interdisciplinary artist born in CT, and working out of Portland, OR.
He received his MFA in Visual Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, attended the Maine College of Art, and received his BA in Visual Studies from Eastern CT State University.
Aloia has presented work at Page Space, the Dorothy Lemelson Innovation Studio, and Allied Works Architecture in Portland, OR; Gallery Two in Pullman, WA; Akus Gallery, and the John Slade Ely House in New Haven, CT. He has attended residencies at Caldera Art Center in Sisters, OR; the Stephen Pace House in Stonington, ME; and a Global Citizenship Residency in Havana, Cuba.
Contact Vincent: firstname.lastname@example.org 971-276-316