fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Sable Elyse Smith
La Biennale di Venezia

Your are here

Sable Elyse Smith

1986, USA

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Sable Elyse Smith’s Landscape works, a series of large-scale neons, are part of her ongoing and multi-faceted project about the US prison industrial complex and its insidious, endemic structures of anti-Black violence. For Smith, the psychic wound of mass incarceration is personal, too; she has been visiting her father in prison over approximately two-thirds of her life. Favouring a conceptual approach, Smith’s works in video, sculpture, photography, installation, and text defy conventional narratives of incarceration by drawing from personal stories and quotidian confrontations with the penal system. Smith’s neons like Landscape VI (2022), written in cool white letters, fully justified, and underscored by a bright orange-and-green horizon line, expand a tradition of Conceptual Art works: those executed in light by artists like Bruce Nauman, Glenn Ligon, and Jenny Holzer. As in these previous experiments, in which the very materiality of neon signage suggests a public presence or a guise of authority to be tested, in the Landscape series Smith creates a tension between the inherent publicness of neon and the nature of her text. Landscape VI might be read as an expression of the embodied, everyday effects of institutional violence, juxtaposing the tone of an interior monologue with the ostentatious address of neon signage.

Madeline Weisburg

Central Pavilion
See on Google Maps

Share this page on

Share on FacebookShare on XShare on LinkedINSend via WhatsApp
Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte