Now online: S*an D. Henry-Smith, Lunar New Year
S*an D. Henry-Smith
Lunar New Year
color video with sound
(closed captioning available)
19 minutes, 46 seconds
edited by Zack Khalil
“& so Lunar New Year is a durational effort, a sequence of 4 digital, 13 analog vertically oriented portraits, all made handheld with found and available light, presented in order of exposures taken. The series (swallows hard, accepts its truth) is a record in collaboration with those that allowed me to be in space with them, creating quiet encounters in the polyphonic city. Not all is pictured, not all are pictured, just what & who was made available through any number of very specific & amorphous conditions & agreements on this day. A study of the transformative power of light moving through space, & a sincere awe in the ability to render that still, & (as the Meshell Ndegeocello song says) yet it moves, offering the cinema of the everyday, offering description as narrative, operating in the multisensory—text, image, voice, my primary mediums, previously presented in the book, now in cinema, still the book: all efforts in dedicated sequencing.”––S*an D. Henry-Smith
Lunar New Year (2021) is a new short film by Henry-Smith, presented here for the first time. The film revisits the unraveling of a midwinter’s day in New York City. Summoning the presence of friends and collaborators on film and in spirit, Henry-Smith shifts effortlessly between sonic and visual languages in their work––at times drawing from elements of modern portraiture and slice-of-life documentation. Here in their first filmic foray, the functions of narrative, descriptive, and poetic texts blur, inviting to mind the formal experiments of Bernadette Mayer, William Greaves, and James Benning, among others.
S*an D. Henry-Smith is an artist and writer working primarily in poetry, photography, performance, and publishing, engaging Black experimentalisms and collaborative practices across (and against) discipline. As mouthfeel, they collaborate with Imani Elizabeth Jackson, meditating on Black food, ecology, and ephemeral practices. Henry-Smith’s debut collection of poems and photographs, Wild Peach (2020), was published by Futurepoem in fall of last year and shortlisted for the PEN Open Book Award. “in awe of geometry & mornings” (2021), exhibited at White Columns this winter, brought to scale photographs from the book alongside a series of readings and conversations programmed with their collaborators. Lunar New Year (2021) is their first film.