Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Cauleen Smith, an interdisciplinary artist who blends the traditional visual art world with film-based practices, will discuss her touring exhibition “Give It Or Leave It” and explore models in which utopian social models of radical generosity and hospitality were successfully enacted in the United States: Alice Coltrane’s Gai Anatam Ashram, Simon Rodia’s Watt’s Rowers, Noah Purifoy’s Desert Museum, and the Combahee River Collective. Named for a decisive historical moment, they serve are foundations for films and installations which invite contemplation on the power of generous and liberatory spaces.
Cauleen Smith is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Operating in multiple materials and arenas, Smith roots her work firmly within the discourse of mid-twentieth-century experimental film. Drawing from structuralism, third world cinema, and science fiction, she makes things that deploy the tactics of activism in service of ecstatic social space and contemplation.
On the faculty at California Institute of the Arts in the Art Program, Smith received a B.A. in creative arts from San Francisco State University and an M.F.A from the School of Theater Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Smith is the recipient of the following awards: Rockefeller Media Arts Award, Creative Capital Film /Video, Independent Spirit Someone to Watch Award, Chicago 3Arts Grant, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Chicago Expo Artadia Award, and Rauschenberg Residency, Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts in Film and Video 2016, United States Artists Award 2017. She was the 2016 inaugural recipient of the Ellsworth Kelly Award.
Professor Smith’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.