Sable Elyse Smith

Sable Elyse Smith

How We Tell Stories to Children

January 11, 2018 – February 4, 2018

In Sable Elyse Smith’s video How We Tell Stories to Children, 2015, nothing stays still for very long. As big industrial sounds pulsate we see the back of a young man running away in slow motion alongside a filtered expanse of color, or the memory of color. There are several intercuts, but the video centers on a recorded half of a conversation with the artist’s father who is currently incarcerated. At times, it is personal portrait from loved one to loved one, emotionally close moments where he refers to the artist as “Daughter”. He is no longer an abstract idea of the imprisoned, he is man, a father and this is his new normal. He is far, but not forgotten. We are also allowed in to the empty moments in the cell, time between time. He sits silent, groves to Alicia Keys ‘Troubles’, and promises a tour of his surroundings. His entire story, his message for his daughter feels just out of reach, but the camera rolls on. 


Sable Elyse Smith

Sable Elyse Smith has performed at the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, Eyebeam, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA. Her work has also been screened at Birkbeck Cinema in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries, London, Artist Television Access, San Francisco, and MoMA Ps1, New York. Her writing has been published in Radical Teacher, Selfish, Studio Magazine and with Recess Art’s Critical Writing Fellowship. She is currently working on her first book. Smith has received grants & fellowships from Creative Capital, the Queens Museum, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Franklin Furnace Fund, and Art Matters. She recently received the 2017 Emerging Artist Grant in New York City from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and was named a 2018 Artist-in-Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem.


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