Slide Lecture and Listening Party: Saturday, September 22nd, 3pm
Live Recording Sessions October 2 and October 17
With an accompanying bi-fold and essay by Terri Kapsalis.
Filmmaker Cauleen Smith wraps up her 2-year Chicago residency and research on Sun Ra with her exhibition The Journeyman – an installation, recording studio, and library about artistic process, research and the relationship between an artist and the subjects they revere. The exhibition will be accompanied by the release of a limited edition vinyl record mixed by Smith that includes recordings she made over the course of her project in Chicago and materials found in the Sun Ra archive at Experimental Sound Studio.
Experimental filmmaker Smith has been a “long-term” resident of threewalls’, first joining us in 2010 as part of the Studio Chicago program in conjunction with the Sullivan Galleries at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Initially Smith intended to extend her on-going film work on jazz, radical black creativity, and the American urban matrix to a work on Chicago and the legend and impact of phenom Sun Ra. Her research led her down a winding path to residencies at the University of Chicago, Center for Race and Culture, and Experimental Sound Studio’s Sun Ra archives.
Between time spent in Chicago and teaching in San Diego, Smith produced The Solar Flare Arkestral Marching Band, a series of marching band flash mob street performances inspired by Sun Ra’s Arkestra where Chicago Southside high-school marching bands would play a single Sun Ra song arranged for them by local musicians and composers. This series was recorded as part of a number of short films that Smith made while in the city, culminating in two exhibitions: A Seed is a Star, on exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (May 12-September 16th, 2012) and The Journeyman at threewalls. Both exhibitions cultivate a specific, immersive experience or manipulation of space, with her exhibition at threewalls’ generating the character of research, with study, listening and recording spaces butted up against each other in a meditation on the process of research, creation and the making of myth– both in homage to Sun Ra’s own intensive auto-didact methods and Smith’s experience studying his extensive archives.
In conjunction with The Journeyman, Smith, in collaboration with Todd Carter, will open the space to musicians to record and perform in a makeshift recording studio. Those performances are on October 3 and October 17.
threewalls’ would like to extend a special thanks to John Corbett for the loan of a selection of Sun Ra’s books for the library.
Cauleen Smith (born 1967) is a filmmaker whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the black imagination. Smith’s films have been featured in group exhibitions at the Houston Contemporary Art Museum; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin; and the New Museum, New York. Beginning in 1994, she wrote, directed, and produced her first narrative feature film, Drylongso (1998), which was selected for the American Spectrum of Sundance Film Festival, and won best feature film at both the Urbanworld Film Festival and the Los Angeles Pan-African Film Festival Smith earned an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles.