Cauleen Smith: Give It or Leave It
by Anthony Elms, Rhea Anastas, Rodney McMillian, & Cauleen Smith
Published on the occasion of Cauleen Smith: Give It or Leave It, this catalogue offers an emotional axis by which to navigate four distinct universes: Alice Coltrane and her ashram, a 1966 photo shoot by Bill Ray at Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers, Noah Purifoy and his desert assemblages, and black spiritualist Rebecca Cox Jackson and her Shaker community. These locations, while not technically utopian societies, embody sites of historical speculation and radical generosity between artist and community. In reimagining a future through this mix, Smith casts a world that is black, feminist, spiritual, and unabashedly alive.
Publisher: Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania,
Dimensions: 6.5 x 9 inches
Softcover, 81 pages
Cauleen Smith (American, b. 1967, Riverside, California) is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Drawing from structuralism, Third World Cinema, and science fiction, she makes things that deploy the tactics of these disciplines, while offering a phenomenological experience for spectators and participants. Her films, objects, and installations have been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including those at the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; the 2017 Whitney Biennial; Prospect.4, New Orleans; the New Museum, New York; D21, Leipzig; and Decad, Berlin. Smith has had solo shows of films and installations at The Kitchen, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Art Institute of Chicago; and Threewalls, Chicago. She earned her BA in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University and her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles’s School of Theater, Film, and Television. Smith teaches in the School of Art at CalArts.