"Some of her banners are heraldic and authoritative, as in the 2017 Biennial; others are connective, meant for two people to hold up, bearing warmer messages such as APPRECIATE YOU IN ADVANCE.
Those she exhibited in the Biennial are collectively titled “In the Wake,” after the book In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (2016), by the scholar Christina Sharpe, who theorizes the “wake”—in all its maritime, funereal, and cognitive meanings—as a frame for understanding and enacting Black existence in an anti-Black world. It is a heavy concept, necessarily so, that derives its original metaphor from the slave ship. But what Sharpe calls “wake work” is not simply mourning. Rather, she writes, it is the effort to “imagine new ways to live in the wake of slavery, in slavery’s afterlives, to survive (and more) the afterlife of property.” Inside those parentheses lies possibility. “I am trying to find the language for this work, find the form for this work,” Sharpe writes. Smith’s banners propose one such form." - Siddhartha Mitter, Artforum
WAKING LIFE, Siddhartha Mitter on the art of Cauleen Smith
“Protesters always make gorgeous banners. What if I made it as if it was forever? It’s not about power, it’s about holding the space indefinitely. Future and past, you want to hold all of that. You want to celebrate, you want to protest, you want to do all at once.” - Cauleen Smith
BLK FMNNST LOANER LIBRARY 1989–2019 (CLICK TO READ PDF):
Sharpe, Christina Elizabeth, "In The Wake: On Blackness and Being", Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.
CAULEEN SMITH LP: PIGEONS ARE BLACK DOVES
As part of The Showroom's 2020 Fundraiser, you can donate £350 or more for a special signed copy of Cauleen Smith's LP: Pigeons Are Black Doves
This rare signed LP commemorates the 2017 Whitney Biennial Procession by Cauleen Smith with a crowd of participants. This vibrant blue coloured LP is a recording of the two poems spoken during the programme. Side A features Avery R. Young and Tina M. Howell as they lead a choir rehearsal in preparation for the procession. Side B is a live recording of the In The Wake procession that took place on 11 April 2017.
Click here to buy.