SMITH

Born in 1985 in Paris (France)

An artist-researcher born in 1985, SMITH took a degree in philosophy at the Sorbonne and has studied at the École nationale supérieure de la photographie d'Arles, Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains and UQAM, University of Quebec in Montreal. In his art he experiments with and explores the links between contemporary humanity and its borderline figures -- spectres, mutants, hybrids --, working in collaboration with writers, astronauts, shamans, engineers, designers, scientists, philosophers, performers and composers. His intradisciplinary project-worlds are based on a process of self-experimentation that takes the form of an investigation, in which the artist's body becomes a critical, experimental and curious platform for revealing new ways of relating to the visible and invisible worlds.

Disrupting genres, languages and disciplines, SMITH's works are curious, in the etymological sense of cura, evoking curiosity and care about the world around us, the terrestrial and the celestial, human and non-human, the visible and the invisible, the imaginary and the fictional. Thermal cameras, drones, neon lights, implanted microchips, magnets and subcutaneous meteorites, atomic mutations and trance practices all feed into a fluid body of work that is made using technological and spiritual means and incorporates the dimensions of mystery, dream and the beyond.

Between 2017 and 2021, Smith was working on "Désidération", a choral constellation exploring the fraying links between our contemporary humanity and the cosmos. This resulted in a number of solo exhibitions, notably at the Rencontres d'Arles in 2021, and a presentation of a chapter at Le Fresnoy - Studio national in the exhibition "L'humain qui vient" in 2020.

SMITH is now pursuing this quest through his practice of spiritual technologies (cognitive trance, meditation, Amazonian medicine) coupled with interstitial bodily states (gender transition, weightlessness experience, skin implantation of extra-terrestrial materials), in order to present an alternative account of our relationship with the other, with the beyond, with what passes through us, eludes us, overtakes us and survives us. As a an artist-teacher at Le Fresnoy, SMITH will be combining these new investigations and experiments in his new "Dami" project.

His work (exhibitions, films, performances, conferences) is regularly presented in the form of solo exhibitions, notably at the Rencontres d'Arles, the Palais de Tokyo, the Centre Pompidou, with shows around Europe, in California, China, Korea and Latin America (Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, etc.).

Several monographs have been devoted to his work, including "Löyly" (Filigranes, 2013), "Saturnium" (Actes Sud, 2018), Valparaiso (André Frère, 2019), "Désidération (prologue)" (Textuel, 2021), and "Desiderea Nuncia" (Palais books, winner of the Book Prize at the Rencontres d'Arles in 2022).

His production includes several short films, including Spectrographies, co-produced with Le Fresnoy in 2013, TRAUM (2015) and Les Apocalyptiques (2019), podcasts (France Culture, 2020), choreographic shows (TRAUM (Le cas Y), 2018) and performances. In partnership with Nadège Piton via their Superpartners studio, he is curating the Trans(e)galactique exhibition based on their book Transgalactique (The Eyes, 2020), about queer and trans presences in the history of photography, as well as a show by Le Fresnoy alumna Anaïs Boudot.

As a photographer and videographer, in addition to his personal work, his work has been commissioned by the press (Télérama, Libération, Le Monde, etc.), publishers (Actes Sud, La croisée, Alto), institutions (Centre Pompidou, Rencontres d'Arles, Philharmonie de Paris, Collège International de Philosophie), musicians (music videos and album covers) and fashion companies (Chanel, etc.).

SMITH is represented by Galerie Christophe Gaillard and the Modds agency in Paris. He is currently associate artist at La Filature - Scène Nationale in Mulhouse. He won the 2023 Villa Albertine competition in association with the writer Marie NDiaye.