Cauleen Smith

Art in America December 1, 2012

Photo: View of Cauleen Smith’s 2012 re-creation of the library at El Saturn Research Institute, 1945-1993, co- founded by Sun Ra; at Threewalls.

San Diego filmmaker Cauleen Smith began her artistic journey into the life and legacy of experimental jazz musician Sun Ra during a 2010 residency at Threewalls, and the odyssey recently culminated in two powerful exhibitions (all work 2012) that pay homage to both her subject and Chicago, where Sun Ra lived from 1945 to 1961. Combining archival research, interviews and a bit of myth, Smith, working primarily in video and installation, offers a fascinating portrait of this important, eccentric composer and mystic, sometimes conflating history with her own interpretations.

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