Since the late 1990s, Manuel Salvat’s work has focused on the idea of the city: conceiving of the urban fabric as a proliferating organism, Salvat selects diverse architectural elements and presents them for our view. The resulting multilayered work offers the viewer numerous points of access.
Although he is interested in architecture’s role as shelter, Salvat looks beyond the fact that architectural forms are also a barrier. His work takes the wall’s function as obstacle and transforms it into a means to reflect upon the human community that composes the city. In this sense, “looking through” means crossing through walls to reach others. Salvat has generated a grand utopia of community and fellowship, even while acknowledging that this utopia can only exist in his own re-fabricated world. (…)
Manuel Salvat’s approach is not purely mechanical, however he takes a distinct delight in scrambling his own data. He erects an entire urban universe (…), installing a multitude of miniaturized buildings that appear to have been shrunk (…)
Upon closer inspection, some of these indeterminate surfaces turn out to be specific places, “angles” or “corners”-chunks of rooms lifted directly out of their associated apartments. Photographed and enlarged on a scale of 1, the floors and walls of these corners make an incongruous eruption within the public arena (…), a sudden emergence of the private sphere. Salvat’s Angles and Meubles-Immeubles-hybrid objects that are both buildings and the raw elements of furniture-help effect this scrambling of boundaries. Theirs is a sensitive, mental game of back-and-forth: from inside to outside, from private space to public space, and back again. (…)
Angèle Assia, 2007
Catalogue: Manuel Salvat, au travers, Musée de Gap, 2007