Awardee: Sable Elyse Smith

Emerging Fields, 2016

Sable Elyse Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator based in New York. Her practice considers memory and trauma while enacting an undoing of language. She works from the archive of her own body creating new syntax for knowing and not knowing, thereby marking the difference between witnessing and watching. To see is unbearable. She has performed at the New Museum, Eyebeam, Queens Museum, NY; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA. She is currently a selected participant in the New Museum Seminars: (Temporary) Collection of Ideas, on the theme PERSONA. Her work has been published in Radical Teacher, Studio Magazine and No Tofu Magazine, and she is currently working on her first book. Smith has received grants and fellowships from Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Franklin Furnace Fund and Art Matters. She is currently part-time faculty at Parsons School of Design.

Project: Mirror / Echo / Tilt

Mirror / Echo / Tilt is a collaborative project between artists, educators and individuals affected by the justice system. Using magical realism as a framework, performative vignettes are translated through the body and recorded in vacant former institutions such as empty prisons and courthouses—to consider how individuals might assert agency in the reclamation of physical and psychic space. Taking the form of video, performance, text, archive and curriculum, the work envisions new language around the way we engage mass Incarceration and inserts counter narratives into the dominant media landscape, which commonly alienates and criminalizes black and brown bodies.