SMITH FR, b. 1985

SMITH’s background consists of a constant to-and-fro between theoretical research and artistic practice, focused on the exploration of a guiding principle: human identity, through its metamorphoses, alterations, resistances, hybridization, and borders. A graduate of the École de la Photographie d’Arles and Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains, SMITH creates works that associate photographs, sculptures, film, new technologies, dance, and performance at the heart of undisciplinary installations.

His work is regularly shown at solo exhibitions in museums, art centres, and festivals, notably the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles in 2012, 2015 and 2021; at the Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki; at Filature in Mulhouse; at the photography festivals of Valparaiso in Chile, San José in Uruguay, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and Landskröna in Sweden; the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Casino – Luxembourg; Transpalette, Bourges; MAAH, Santa Cruz; or LACE, Los Angeles. 

As a director, SMITH makes short films screened at festivals, exploring various filmic languages, devised in symbiosis with a plastic and performative production: his project TRAUMA thus combines a fictional film, a series of performances, and a dance show supported by and presented at the Centre Pompidou, the theatre of the Cité International in Paris, the Musée de la Danse in Rennes, the CND – Centre National de la Danse in Pantin, and the CCN –  Centre Chorégraphique National in Montpellier.

As an artist and researcher, SMITH regularly presents his work at conferences on the margins of performance, at scientific seminars shifting to the limits of science fiction, such as at the Collège de France, the Institut Henri-Poincaré, Ryerson University in Toronto, UCSC - Santa Cruz, the MUTEK festival in San Francisco, or the MacVal in Vitry. He collaborates with performer and producer Nadège Piton under the name Superpartners.

Many monographs have been published, notably with Éditions Filigranes (Löyly in 2013, Astroblème in 2018), Actes Sud (Saturnium in 2017), André Frère (Entretien avec SMITH in 2017, Valparaiso in 2019), Textuel (Désidération (prologue) in 2021), and Palais Books (Desiderea Nuncia in 2021). 

SMITH also undertakes work on commission for institutions, brands, and associations, from the house of Chanel to Act Up Paris, or the Orchestre de la Philharmonie de Paris, or the Collège International de Philosophie. He is also a press photographer: his portraits and reportages are published by Le Monde, Libération, Télérama, Causette, or Philosophie Magazine.

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SMITH is an artist-accomplice at Filature – Scène Nationale in Mulhouse / Opéra du Rhin since March 2021; in this context, he presented two  exhibitions (SMITH (archives) from March to May 2022, then Désidération from May to July 2022) as well as a programme for the festival Vagamondes 2023. He also designed a new work, in conversation with Corine Sombrun, Marie NDiaye, Caty Olive, and Sir Alice. He is presenting the exhibition Désidération (escale) at the Vannes Photo Festival until 29 May 2022.