Emma Smith has a social practice that is both research and production based and responds to site-specific issues. Using an inter-disciplinary approach, including organised events, performance, participation, sound and text, she explores the inter-relation between people and place. Situated in the everyday Smith’s work investigates historic behaviours in relation to the present, collapsing notions of time in exploring transitory relations to place and practices of being. Excavating embedded knowledge, exploring the psychology of space and considering relational dynamics her work is particularly focussed on social and collective action.
As part of her process Smith regularly collaborates and works through the bringing together of multi- disciplinary teams. The resulting events, occurrences and instigations construct ephemeral moments that are both particular to and for the the people who experience them at the time. Smith has recently been working on the development of props as performance objects to explore possibilities for non-durational performance.
FIELDWORK Q&A – July 2015
How is fieldwork part of your practice?
My practice is a process of research, both in output and methodology – practice as research – research as fieldwork. In practice I find a place within the field, similar to that of the anthropologists tent – a place of active retreat from which to re-configure and re-imagine the world – a place from which to operate in the midst but not from the center.
How would you describe your fieldwork activity?
My practice is primarily concerned with relationship: socio-anthropological and spatial. Through investigating histories and behaviors of place my work seeks to understand how we might better live together.
How are you currently sharing your fieldwork?
I work and exhibit internationally. Exhibitions include Tate Modern, UK, Whitechapel Gallery, UK, Arnolfini, UK, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland, and Matadero Madrid, Spain, with international research and production residencies in Australia, Canadian Arctic, Canada, China, India, Lebanon, Mauritius, Kenya, Denmark, and Italy.
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