Cauleen Smith: Give It Or Leave It

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Cauleen Smith: Give It or Leave It, featuring the interdisciplinary artist who creates films, installations, objects, and performances that ruminate on the everyday possibilities of imagination. In this presentation of her recent work, Smith foregrounds Southern California artists and visionaries who engaged in creating and sustaining place and community. As is frequent in Smith’s oeuvre, the artistic, musical, and textual references she draws from celebrate the experimental and radical practices of Black expression.


The title of the exhibition, Give It or Leave It, challenges the colloquial “take it or leave it,” and reflects the role of generosity and creation in the spiritual and artistic output of the historical figures that inhabit the exhibition. Smith proposes a new rule for a better world: creating something, offering it, and gifting it—regardless of whether the gesture is accepted or rejected.

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