“Cauleen Smith: The Wanda Coleman Songbook” at 52 Walker, New York

Share This Post

The Wanda Coleman Songbook is an immersive video installation that enlists scent, sight, and sound to explore the multidimensional depth of poems by Wanda Coleman (1946–2013). Coleman was widely considered the unofficial poet laureate of Los Angeles, and her work guided Smith’s reacquaintance with the city after a sixteen-year absence. At the heart of The Wanda Coleman Songbook listening room, visitors are invited to drop a needle on the eponymously titled, limited-edition two-color vinyl 12-inch EP with commissioned contributions by Kelsey Lu, Shala Miller, moor mother and Aquiles Navarro, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jeff Parker and Ruby Parker, Alice Smith, and Jamila Woods and Standing on the Corner.

Also called the “LA Blueswoman,” Coleman cultivated her fearless voice through the
city’s myriad cultural and political landscapes, as well as through initiatives like the Studio Watts Workshop and her experiences writing for television, editing, teaching, and performing. Invigorated by Coleman’s intimacies with and revelations in the city, Smith familiarized herself deeply with the poet’s oeuvre after returning to Los Angeles in 2017 and considered them alongside her own histories and feelings of rediscovery there. At 52 Walker, Smith not only creates a cinematic environment translating Coleman’s lyrical and adventurous verse but also a contemporary soundscape that captures the longing, tenderness, fury, and grief of the writer’s poetry and prose, which so often revealed the unruly and untamed aspects of the major West Coast metropolis.

Carpeted in rugs and furnished with comfortable couches, The Wanda Coleman Songbook switches on all senses. Smith transforms the gallery space to create an atmosphere akin to that of a live recording studio: friends and familiars hanging out and symbiotically absorbing energies while advancing their respective projects. The central hub of The Wanda Coleman Songbook is the record itself: Smith shared a selection of Coleman’s poetry with the participating artists and invited them to interpret the writer’s words. Spanning genres and experimentations, the commissioned songs on the EP reflect the collaborators’ heterogenous approaches to Coleman’s euphonious poems and ultimately cohere to present a narrative that is sensitive to the textures of her Los Angeles. Cloaked in a new film that Smith shot on location in fall of 2023, the walls of the gallery envelop visitors in panoramic moving images that capture the expected Los Angeles clichés—the Hollywood Hills, palm trees, Griffith Observatory—as well as a Black Los Angeles that is slowly disappearing into the cultural and geographical periphery.

A bespoke fragrance designed by agustine zegers greets gallery attendees and brings to mind a hike in Griffith Park, Los Angeles’s largest public recreational area and the site of many impressionistic moments in Coleman’s life. Parts of her poems are printed onto blotters so that visitors can extend the temporal experience of migrating scent beyond the gallery walls while activating olfactory memories of their own.

at 52 Walker, New York
until March 16, 2024

]

Source link

More To Explore

Yunchan Lim’s Temporary Farewell Due to Injury
Art

Yunchan Lim’s Temporary Farewell Due to Injury

Prodigious pianist Yunchan Lim has hit a temporary pause. At just 20, after winning the hearts of audiences worldwide, he faces a new challenge: a hand injury. This setback requires him to withdraw from upcoming performances across Europe. Here’s the scoop on what happened and what it means for the

Read More »
David Pinegar: From Fields to Phantasmagoria
Art

David Pinegar: From Fields to Phantasmagoria

A Journey of Self-Discovery David Pinegar‘s path from the pastoral tranquility of a Derbyshire village to the vibrant world of contemporary art is nothing short of remarkable. Originally dreaming of a life tending to the land, Pinegar’s aspirations took an unexpected turn in his mid-twenties with the purchase of a

Read More »
Mobile Photo Awards Winners 10
Art

Spectacular Winning Photos From The 13th Annual Mobile Photography Awards

Grand Prize Winner: Yajun Hu In the smartphone age, everyone can be a photographer. The 13th Mobile Photography Awards celebrated this, displaying stunning images taken with mobile devices. Yajun Hu from Shanghai won the Grand Prize. Mobile photography continues to thrive as a powerful medium for self-expression and storytelling. More:

Read More »

Join our Community

ANASAEA is your leading partner connects you to the broadest possible audiences.

© 2024 All Rights Reserved by ANASAEA