Australian artist Sam Smith spent 5 weeks on Gotland for the research part of the residency “North by Southeast” that focuses on exchange between the Australian and Nordic contemporary art scenes. The artist covered the island of Gotland with many trips and meetings with local specialists like Tom Mels, Associate Professor, Dept of Social and Economic Geography, Dr. Gustaf Svedjemo, Universitetslektor, Archaeology and Ancient History and local fossile expert Sara Eliason at the Gotland Museum. Sam Smith will return for the production phase of the residency in Spring 2018 to create a new work from his research.
“Through my time at Baltic Art Center, I gained a sense of Gotland as a living force: an active entity, but one that’s being deconstructed. Millions of years ago, sediments that circulated at the equator constructed the reef mass that became the island. Those raw materials are now being radically dispersed.”
Sam Smith is a video installation and performance artist born in Sydney, Australia, currently living and working in London, UK. By treating built forms as active things, Smith gives resonance to the histories within their material structures. The locations of past films and 20th century Modernist residences become vibrant entities, capable of reorganising matter, facilitating life and playing a crucial part in their own narrative.
Sam Smith’s work has been shown at Whitechapel Gallery, London, Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra, Portugal, the Australian Centre for Moving Image, Melbourne and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. The monograph Sam Smith: Frames of Reference, featuring texts from Jan Verwoert and Post Brothers, was published by Broken Dimanche Press and Künstlerhaus Bethanien in 2014.