Margaret Salmon Screening and Poster Launch

Part of Aberdeen Programme

11 July 2019

Belmont Filmhouse
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Margaret Salmon, poster still, 2019. Courtesy the artist

Join artist Margaret Salmon for a screening of her films Gibraltar (2013) and Pyramid (2014).

Salmon will introduce both works, shot on a 16mm MOS Bolex, and discuss a new poster she has produced with LUX Scotland. The poster acts as an instructional guide to, and celebration of, loading 16mm film on a Bolex camera. A free copy will be available for everyone who attends the screening.

This event marks a celebration and conclusion of a programme of activity in Aberdeen that has been supported by Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Funding Programme. The screening will also be followed by drinks and an informal discussion with Margaret Salmon, Benjamin Cook (LUX, Director) and David Upton (LUX Scotland, Programme Manager) in the Kino Bar to discuss looking to the future and ways of LUX Scotland’s continuing work in the city. This event is free and open to all.


Margaret Salmon, Pyramid, 2014. 17 mins, 16mm film transferred to digital

Pyramid is a single screen work on Abraham Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of human needs filmed through the rhythms and choreography of middle-class Southern England. Filmed in color and black and white on 16mm film, it continues Salmon’s interest in the performance of the artist/​cinematographer within both spontaneous and constructed situations, incorporating methods developed by various movements within documentary and avant-garde history. Using an array of sounds, music and conversation as well as silence, Salmon constructs an abstract documentary which both develops and challenges the themes presented in Maslow’s theory. Maslow’s pyramid and his pragmatic dissection of human needs and possible motivations provide a system of organisation for the family and a philosophical framework for the film.

Margaret Salmon, Gibraltar, 2013. 17 mins 40 sec, 16mm film transferred to digital

Filmed on 16mm in black and white and colour and featuring a percussive jazz soundscape of Max Roach recordings, Gibraltar dissects the small cosmos of the famous rock, opening up dialogues concerning bio-anthropology, history, tourism, folklore and spectacle. Part circus show/​zoo and part social-science experiment gone wrong, the magnetism of the rock itself lends a mystical quality to the situation. Looming above the landscape below, the giant object imbues the primate’s identity with intriguing military and folk narratives, making the place a kind of kitsch nationalistic/​historical destination for foreign travellers.

Approached as part amateur nature program, part street film and mystical intervention, the film follows a mostly observational approach, recording the monkeys and humans as they interact and mirror one another. This observational’ footage ultimately morphs into an experimental work, weaving together iconographic as well as organic, improvised narratives, images, sounds and music.

About the artist

Margaret Salmon

Margaret Salmon (b. 1975, New York) lives and works in Glasgow. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at institutions including Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (2015); Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, USA (2011); Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2007); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2007) and Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2006). Her work has been featured in film festivals and major international survey exhibitions, including the Berlin Biennale (2010) and Venice Biennale (2007). Salmon won the inaugural MaxMara Art Prize for Women in 2006.

Part of Aberdeen Programme

The LUX Scotland Aberdeen Programme aims to support early career Aberdeen-based artists and curators. The programme has run from since 2018 and has included job opportunities, workshops, screenings and online commissions. The programme was led by Project Manager Rachel Grant between 2021–24.

Supported by Aberdeen City Council Creative Funding, this continues our previous work to support, develop and promote artists’ moving image practices across Scotland, and builds on our work in the Aberdeen area, which began in 2018.

Learn more