Red Bull Arts at the 2020 Independent Art Fair

Independent Art fair
March 5th-8th 2020
5th Floor, Booth 14

Red Bull Arts will exhibit a site-specific commission by Smith at the Independent Art Fair ahead of No Gyal Can Test. Drawing upon his extensive archive of hundreds of hours of Jamaican dancehall footage, Smith presents a new sculpture composed of decorative, welded metal gates, which encase a back-to-back video work showing stills of women glancing at the camera. Illuminated by the unfiltered “video light” beaming from atop the videographer’s VHS camera, Smith’s subjects remain frozen in arrested expressions of interiority. Largely sourced from moments within the dance where the music has abruptly stopped, the video lingers slightly too long on these subdued gaps in which the party’s performative momentum has faltered. Smith’s use of the decorative grills-which function on the island as both a deterrent to domestic crime and as signifiers of wealth-gain further symbolic complexity in the context of the art fair, begging the question as to which side of the gates Smith is leaving the women, and thus, in turn, the viewer.

Related Exhibitions: Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test

Akeem Smith, Dovecote, 2020