Cauleen Smith

The Center for Contemporary Art & Culture Presents Cauleen Smith’s Asterism

Press || Oct 12, 2016

Portland, OR—October 12, 2016—The Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) commissions a new project from multidisciplinary artist Cauleen Smith. On view November 3, 2016 through January 6, 2017 Asterisms is a new video installation that emerges from the artist's consideration of the notion that Sometimes it takes time to see what’s really there. Sometimes having a name for a thing helps us see it. And sometimes the name for a thing renders it unseeable.

Asterisms collects, arranges, projects, and draws connections between bodies unrelated, which together, create space and place. The artist intermingles objects from the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Craft with objects from the artist’s own personal collection to create the mise-en-scene for cinemascapes that require a curious and slow-looking eye.

This installation will be the first component to a three-part body of work Smith is undertaking. The other two parts will unfold at UCLA’s Hammer Museum and the Chicago gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey.

Cauleen Smith is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Rooted within the discourse of mid-twentieth century experimental film, Smith draws equally from the tactics of structuralism, third world cinema, and science fiction in an attempt to make things that nod to these references while offering a phenomenological experience for spectators and participants.

Smith's films, objects, and installations have been featured in group exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Houston Contemporary Art Museum; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin; the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; Yerba Buena Center for Arts; the New Museum, and Liepzig and Berlin. Smith has had solo shows at The Kitchen, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Threewalls, Chicago, and Women & Their Work, Austin, TX.

Prior to receiving her 2014 Grants to Artists award, Smith's film Drylongso (1998) won Best Feature Award from Urbanworld Film Festival and the Pan-African Film Festival, Los Angeles. Smith was the recipient of a Creative Audio Archive Research, Experimental Sound Studio Residency (2011), a National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Artist Award (2012), a Washington Park Arts Incubator, Arts and Public Life Residency (2013), and a 3Arts Award (2013).

Smith earned a B.A in Cinema from San Francisco State University in 1991 and an M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1998. Smith studied with Trinh T. Minh Ha, Angela Davis, and Lynn Hershman-Gleeson at San Francisco State University. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007. Smith lives in Chicago while teaching at the Vermont College of Fine Art low-residency M.F.A. program.

This exhibition is supported in part by the The Regional Arts & Culture Council.

About the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture
The Center for Contemporary Art & Culture is a platform for cultural production including exhibition, lecture, performance, and publication. Housed within Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), the Center throws open its doors to the greater public to foster conversation and community.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art
As Oregon’s premier college of art and design since 1909, Pacific Northwest College of art has helped shape the region’s visual arts landscape for more than a century. Today PNCA is a dynamic platform for 21st century art and design education at its new campus in the heart of downtown Portland. PNCA offers a BFA program with ten majors, six graduate programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies, and a Post-Baccalaureate program. pnca.edu