When powerhouse literary critic Donald Davidson wrote, in his 1978 “What Metaphors Mean,” “Metaphor implies a kind and degree of artistic success,” he specifically was not talking about art, or artists, or anything really to do with the fine arts. However, art, being an inherently interdisciplinary mode of thought, can be understood through the kinds of language mechanisms, such as literary devices, to which a metaphor belongs. He continues: “It [a metaphor] is something brought off by the imaginative employment of words and sentences and depends entirely on the ordinary meanings of those words and hence on the ordinary meanings of the sentences they comprise.” And from these ordinary interpretations, metaphors then produce a truer or realer observation than the words alone could provide. In the case of “Saltwater,” a biennial so predicated on this metaphorical concept, Christov-Bakargiev has selected a group of works that bring to the surface the ways in which the human condition ebbs and flows. Earthy, coarse, rude, and shocking—much like the essential mineral, our essence is a contradiction.