S*an D. Henry-Smith is an artist and writer working primarily in poetry, photography, and performance, engaging Black experimentalisms and collaborative practices. Photographer of the Week selections are drawn from “in awe of geometry & mornings”, an exhibition currently on display at White Columns, closing March 6th.
From White Columns:
“in awe of geometry & mornings” brings to scale a selection of ten photographs drawn from Wild Peach, Henry-Smith’s collection of poems and photographs published in Fall 2020 by Futurepoem. The artist describes Wild Peach as an exploration of nonlinear, non-narrative time through what they identify as a sonic offering of image and text – a sensory amplification of the natural world and life in all of its transitory states – challenging poetry and photography to work together without illustrating one another.
Henry-Smith’s images have emerged from a long-standing process of witnessing what they have described as “the abstractions of the available.” The photographs themselves exist within a larger constellation of works made across several years and in different locales including: Goosenecks State Park, UT; Catskills, NY; New Orleans, LA; and Brooklyn, NY, among others.
These works respond to scholar and author Kevin Everod Quashie’s question, “Simply, what does a quiet life look like?” (from the book “The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture”) and upon further reflection Henry-Smith, asks back: “What is the threshold of volume? In the garden and the noise, what must be learned from the garble? Making myself porous to potent stillnesses, these photographs are made with a sensitivity to the worlds I am invited to, the secrets we co-create, the tender offerings of the Outdoors: stumbling into a sky ablaze, or met with the charmed gaze of kinship, this methodology informs a long practice in witnessing the abstractions of the available, the unfolding of light and time, glimpses of autofiction if the hand reveals its cards.”
S*an D. Henry-Smith will be in conversation with Sasha Phyars-Burgess and Kameelah Janan Rasheed March 6th at 5PM. Moderated by Ayanna Dozier.