By Aldo Benítez
The art of Todd Shalom (1976, USA) is based on rather ephemeral matters, his work entails performance, the art of actions and the various genres that branch off from there. It is a very particular scope of contemporary art that is very naturalized in other countries but rarely explored in Argentina (at least in the institutionalized circuit but with some indispensable examples such as the photographer Cecilia Maresca or the writer Gabriela Bejerman to name a few artists).
Shalom's work is particularly focused on the concept of sound, when you look at his website you can get an idea of the general tone of his work. There is always a preference for the public space with an individual and personal view. An example of this concern can be traced in his "soundwalks", a project that he has realized in different countries. The artist invites interested walkers to perform different experiences on the street in which they act only with their ears.
Todd has been living for a year now in Buenos Aires and he hasn’t stopped producing art. In a more detailed view of Todd’s work, it is interesting to note the video of a performance entitled Fallout, made with his collaborative partner Niegel Smith. In this performance, Todd and Niegel, together with a group of performers, made a new ritual inspired by Twin Towers attack. The performers met up at the exact date and time with the holding of the official ceremony for the 5th anniversary of the attack but decided to perform just 4 blocks from the official ceremony (more specifically at the Charging Bull sculpture in downtown Manhattan). They carried out their ritual by re-staging and interpreting the anguish and actions of people during the catastrophe. This was in response to the solemn ritual that was carried out a few blocks away. The point of connection between the two actions was only the radio broadcast of the official ceremony. The performers used this as a soundtrack for their action. Shalom is intimately related to this situation since a few months before the attack he was one more worker at the World Trade Center. In conversation with WUBA, he told us that his boss actually died in the attack.
Regarding his work, he also told us that he wants "to make art that's non-exclusive, that functions outside of galleries, that lives amongst all of us, that encourages each other to trust and play with what's around us".
And if Shalom’s artistic interests are still unclear after statement, we will let you know that his current project involves the deconstruction of the fashion world. He is working on this performance with the designer Martin Churba, three British performers who call themselves The Other People and two architects, Javier Samaniego Garcia and Mauro Bernardini. He didn’t want to give us too much information about it, but did divulge that the runway show is scheduled for next March 1 and 2 in the Ciudad Cultural Konex.