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 exhibition will be accompanied by a concurrent companion show, Cauleen Smith: Stars in My Pocket and the Rent Is Due (July 10–September 25, 2021) at LACMA’s gallery at Charles White Elementary. From the end of 2020 into 2021, Smith conducted virtual visits with classes at Charles White Elementary School. In these meetings, the artist invited students to make short videos and dioramas depicting a world they want to live in. Inspired by the students’ resilience and imagination during a pandemic, Smith has incorporated elements from student-made videos into a new installation, and has created a set of embellished banners that reference astronomy, migration, and movement.

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