Artist and filmmaker Cauleen Smith will have a solo exhibition at Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo. The show features her latest moving image work The Deep West Assembly, which was commissioned by the institution for this occasion. Smith is celebrated the world over for the visionary quality of her cinematic art, which she complements with a multidisciplinary approach that combines music and literature with Black experience and thought.

In The Deep West Assembly, Smith penetrates into the concepts of geological time and Blackness that are subtly hidden in the images, songs and words of artists such as Suzanne Césaire and Ryan C. Clarke. Geological formations like lava caves, calderas and salt domes are interwoven with Indigenous human-made landforms that paint a picture of the American South as a horizontal “Deep West”, a term borrowed from the poet Wanda Coleman, who was the inspiration for Smith's exhibition at 52 Walker in New York earlier this year.

Cauleen Smith, The Deep West Assembly, 2024, Film still © Courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Mar Sudac.

The actress Dionne Audain serves as our guide through the intricate tapestry that is the Deep West, embodying a multitude of voices, reading a selection of written works, including Smith's Volcano Manifesto (2022). In addition to the film the exhibition also features a new large-scale video installation, textile banners, drawings and a recent sculpture series by the artist.

Smith studied at San Francisco State University, where she encountered and absorbed the concepts of Black feminism and oppositional filmmaking. She then entered film school at the University of California, Los Angeles, following in the footsteps of the legendary generation of the LA Rebellion filmmakers. Smith had recent exhibitions at the following institutions: Aspen Art Museum, 52 Walker and Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive. For more on the upcoming Oslo exhibition please access the site here.

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