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Still from Cauleen Smith’s Crow Requiem (2015) courtesy the artist  

Short Films: Black Echoes and Imperatives

Cauleen Smith – In Space, In Time

  • Saturday, May 11, 2024
  • 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • East Building Auditorium
  • Films
  • In-person
  • Registration Required
  • Drop-In Registration

The first of two short film programs in this series includes the following titles by Cauleen Smith:

H-E-L-L-O (2014, digital, 11 minutes)
Moving calmly along cityscapes of New Orleans, Smith’s camera captures nine solitary musicians all playing one tune: the five-note sequence from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron) (1992, 16mm to digital, 7 minutes)
"Using her alter ego, Kelly Gabron, Smith fabricates a personal history of her emergence as an artist from white-male-dominated American history (and American film history).” – Scott MacDonald

The Name You Trust in Good Clean Family Fun! (2011, 16mm to digital, silent, 4 minutes)
“Ivory Soap is the whitest, purest, airiest, most cleanest American product ever produced. And it floats. It's the perfect material wishes, prayers, disavowals, and poems.” –Cauleen Smith

3 Songs About Liberation (2017, 16mm to digital, 9 minutes) 
Filmed in Chicago, featuring three Black women performing historical monologues drawn from the groundbreaking 1973 book Black Women in White America: A Documentary History, edited by Gerda Lerner.

Human 3.0 Reading List Biblio (2015-16, digital, silent, 5 minutes) 
“And so, Dear Reader, I declare once more: Black people are engaged in combat without the proper armor. In addition to gas masks and kevlar jackets, and smart phone video, we require inoculations that repel the seductions of corporate servitude. I offer this as an action:
Deep and active study…” – Cauleen Smith

Pilgrim (2017, 16mm to digital, 8 minutes)
Personal pilgrimages to three sites of extreme creativity, invention, and generosity: Alice Coltrane's Ashram, Watts Towers, and Watervliet Shaker Community.

T Minus Two (2010, 16mm to digital, 3 minutes)
Counting down. Counting sideways. Counting future. Counting past.

Sine at the Canyon & Sine at the Sea (2016, digital, 7 minutes)
“When I fly into the canyon I dip below sea level.
When I fall into the water my eardrums burst.
There is no sound in space.
If it weren’t for you I’d be lost.”  – Cauleen Smith

Entitled (2005, Super-8mm to digital, silent, 7 minutes)
Through a series of brief, often funny, letters addressed to eminent painters of the past—among them Johannes Vermeer, Diego Velázquez, and Charles Ethan Porter—and via 8mm-shot still lifes constructed by Smith herself, Entitled is devised of one-way missives, of playful and painful sensations unearthed by the quotidian.

Crow Requiem (2015, digital, 11 minutes)
“A Speculation: Humans are estranged from our origins. We left the commonwealth of Animals and declared ourselves the custodians of that dominion. And now We are Man; and all else is Other. Our knowledge of ourselves is a fog that consumes us. We cannot see past it because we do not want to look into it. There are more than two points of view, but the fog makes it difficult to see. This is a sad song, a blues song, an elegy for the past sphere of consciousness we abandoned in favor of eating our own young.” –Cauleen Smith

Total running time approximately 72 minutes, followed by discussion.

About the Filmmaker and Curator

Cauleen Smith was raised in Sacramento, California, and lives in Los Angeles. Smith is on the faculty of the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture. She holds a BA in creative arts from San Francisco State University and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater Film and Television. Smith’s work was showcased at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019. Smith has had several solo exhibitions, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MassMoCA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and currently at the 52 Walker gallery in New York City. Smith’s work is also held in numerous major collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Kadist Foundation, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Stedelijk Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Steve Anker curated Film at REDCAT with Bérénice Reynaud from fall 2003 to spring 2020. Anker was dean of the CalArts School of Film/Video between 2002 and 2014 and served on the school’s faculty from 2014 until his retirement in 2020. Anker was also artistic director of the San Francisco Cinematheque from 1982 to 2002, where he curated and produced over a thousand film, video and mixed media programs, and curated programs for The Museum of Modern Art, the London Film Festival, the Sharjah International Art Biennial, and other venues. Anker has contributed essays to several journals, anthologies and monographs on such artists as Valie Export, Martin Arnold, Bruce Baillie, Larry Gottheim and Marjorie Keller.

Part of the film series Cauleen Smith – In Space, In Time

The end time for this event is estimated. End times may vary with post-screening discussion, audience Q&A, or other factors. All film events finish by 5:00 p.m.