Cauleen Smith: Films, Digital Pieces and Installations

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CalArts Campus

Bijou Theater

This week, the Cinematic Voices: Artists in Person class and lecture series welcomes artist and CalArts faculty Cauleen Smith. 

Smith will present a selection of short films and digital pieces ranging from her early classic, Chronicles of a Lying Sprit by Kelly Gabron through recent works made in Chicago and Los Angeles. Smith will also speak about her current installation practice, and her activities as a radical art activist in contemporary African American culture.

Cauleen Smith has been creating and exhibiting work in many mediums since the early 1990s, and she has become one of the most celebrated and active media artists of this generation. Smith has had numerous one-person exhibitions major museums and galleries: the Frye Art Museum, Seattle (Summer, 2019), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Boston (current) and an installation at the Whitney Museum in New York City opens this month on February 17, 2020.

Smith’s films and videos have shown at festivals and venues throughout the world. Her multi media performance Black Utopia LP on the art and vision of Sun Ra (premiering at REDCAT in April 2013) was featured at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and she will appear with a program of recent films and videos at the Essay Film Festival in London on April 2, 2020.

Cauleen Smith has taught courses and led workshops in the CalArts School of Film/Video, and she is currently on the regular faculty of the CalArts School of Art.

Smith’s work has a strong connection to afro-futurist traditions in jazz music, Third Cinema and structuralist film, and since her debut feature film, Drylongso (recently restored by the Academy Film Archive), Smith has worked primarily within the spaces of the gallery and experimental film. This program highlights Smith’s interpretations and re-imaginings of the music of Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra, her interests in science fiction interwoven with African-American history, and the ways in which the historical and contemporary can be brought into dialogue through artistic practice. 

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