How We Tell Stories to Children

Sable Elyse Smith

2015 | 00:05:10 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Family, Found Footage, Incarceration, Portrait

Sable Elyse Smith's How We Tell Stories to Children is a single channel video that combines found footage, music clips, and audio of the artist reading with video clips of her father recording himself from prison. Focal points and significant moments seem to always occur just offscreen, or quickly flash away. We are given glimpses of a young man running, of city streets flying past from out a car window, but the video centers on clips of her father recounting events in their shared past, talking into the camera like we are witnessing one half of a conversation, or silently listening to music. At times, it is a personal portrait from loved one to loved one, as when he refers to the artist as “daughter." The viewer is granted access into these private moments in the cell while his story, his message for his daughter feels just out of reach, but the camera rolls on.

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Exhibitions + Festivals

"Blue is Ubiquitous and Forbidden," SOHO20 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, November 12 - December 21, 2015

"Inherited," BRIC, Brooklyn, NY, July 9, 2015. Curated by Hallie Ringle

"History As I Know It," On the Ground Floor Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, January 16 - February 6, 2016

"Focus on the Funk: Journeys...," Serpentine Gallery and Birbeck College, London, UK, May 20 - 22, 2016

"With Liberty and (in)Justice For All?," Gateway Project Spaces, Newark, NJ, September 7 - October 7, 2016

"Who Gets To Look," UCI Art Gallery, Irvine, CA, January 14 - February 11, 2017

"The Exposed Suture," Rond-Point Projects, Marseille, FR, February 16 - April 29, 2017. Curated by Natasha Marie Llorens

"and then the street lights-like a warning bell," Assembly (Recess), Brooklyn, NY, June 23 - September 1, 2017

"Ordinary Violence," Queens Museum, Queens, NY, September 17, 2017 - February 18, 2018

"How We Tell Stories to Children," Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA, January 11 - February 4, 2018

CONDO: Sable Elyse Smith, JTT, London, UK, January 13 - February 10, 2018. Hosted by greengrassi and Corvi-Mora

"Production Values," Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA, July 17, 2018