Allison Smith’s artistic practice investigates the material culture of historical reenactment and the role of craft in constructions of national and gender identities. Invoking various forms of public convocation such as battle reenactments, peddlers’ markets, quilting bees, military musters, parades and craft fairs, Smith uses a range of tactile media such as textiles, ceramics, printmaking and wood furniture to produce performative sculptures, interactive installations and artist-led pubic events that redo, restage and refigure our sense of collective memory. Smith’s large-scale sculptures take on an artifact quality through their association with events and their engagement with the public, whether through activities of collective making, activation in social space or material transformation from one context to the next.
Allison Smith (born 1972 in Manassas, Virginia) lived in New York from 1990 until 2008 when she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area to join the faculty of California College of the Arts, where she is Chair of the Sculpture Program. She completed her undergraduate studies at Parsons School of Design and her graduate studies at Yale University School of Art and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Smith has produced solo exhibitions and artist-led projects for Public Art Fund, SFMOMA, MCA Denver and Berkeley Art Museum MATRIX Series, among others. She has contributed her work to museum surveys at MASS MoCA, CAM Houston, Creative Time, Andy Warhol Museum, P.S.1 MoMA, Palais de Tokyo, The Mattress Factory and many more.
Residents from United States
Meiya Cheng’s research focuses on issues facing cultural production including conditions of exhibitions, the role of existing art institutions and cultural policies that shape the environment surrounding this work. Based on field research in Asia, Cheng initiated the institution Taipei Contemporary Art Center in 2009 with a group of activists, curators and artists to express the necessity of independent, non-profit institutions to serve the art community and to create a base for experimental art practices in Taipei. In addition to this work in the public realm, she also curates and conducts research on art projects in the technological age.
Meiya Cheng is an independent curator and cultural organizer based in Taipei, previously working at MOCA. She has published articles in Artco magazine, Art and Investment and Broadsheet. Recent projects include Taipei Contemporary Art Center, co-founded with a group of activists, artists and curators in 2009; Augmenting the World, a curatorial project for the 6th Taipei Digital Art Festival; and Trading Futures, co-curated with Pauline Yao, TCAC.
Events & Exhibitions
Residents from Taiwan
Eloise Fornieles’ practice is predominantly performance-based. Focusing on one-to-one interventions within installations and soundscapes, she invites audiences to question simple interactions and gestures – from the intimate and profound to the prosaic and banal. This investigation into personal human connections is framed within a broader overview of the relationship between body and environment, and the individual’s place as part of a much larger system. Fornieles’ installations create a space for contemplation, whilst her own emphasis on physical endurance provides a backdrop for a more visceral understanding of the body as material, with its limitations and its capabilities. Engaging with strands of mythology, ritual and storytelling, and often depicting animals, she teases out the symbolic resonances that hold meaning within our everyday interactions.
Eloise Fornieles (born 1980, Winchester, UK) has worked and lived in London since 2004. After a BA in Fine Art at Kingston University, London, Fornieles graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2006 with an MFA in Fine Art Media. Selected exhibitions include Their Wonderlands, Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham; On and On, La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Natural Wonders: New Art from London, Babakov Art Projects, Moscow; Fashion in Film Festival, Tate Modern, London; Carrion, Haunch of Venison, Berlin; and The Body is an Ocean, Paradise Row, London, 2011.