Sable Elyse Smith


Support for ongoing work.


I am an interdisciplinaryartist & writer. My practice considers memory and trauma while enacting anundoing of language. Through video, sculpture, images, and text I utilize theframework of self-portraiture to survey traces of trauma inscribed on the body.The title of a recent body of work, <i>The Body Keeps theScore </i>, comes from the book by Bessel van der Kolk of the samename, which studies the corporeal manifestations of trauma and stress. Usingaerial views of prison complexes as a point of reference, I extract colors(blues in particular), demarcation lines, and other fragments that touch on theexperience of visiting my father in various prisons over the past 19 years. Thesubsequent works examine and dismantle regulatory codes that are both embeddedin the body yet deeply impersonal, creating a space where achieving normalcybegets an alien, unfamiliar presence and the slow palimpsest accumulation ofeveryday violence is rendered visible.

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