Allison SMITH Art

By the by and by and by... was an installation inspired by the writings of Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain), made for the Glyndor Gallery at Wave Hill, where Twain lived for a period in the late 1800s.

What most interests me in Twain's writing is his use of time travel as a way of holding the past up to the present, explaining in a sense “how we got here” but also reminding us that we make our world. Twain takes extra care in describing the costumes, “props” and interiors in which the action of each story plays out. There are also many references throughout his work to trades, crafts, and the pleasures of manual labor. Twain delights in role-play, and provides many an object lesson on the performativity of identity, and especially the way masculinity and nationalism are performed. As the saying goes, “the clothes make the man,” and Twain’s stories are filled with accounts of mistaken identity and the use of disguise. These performative accounts serve to elucidate deeper concerns: walking in the shoes of others in order to understand injustice, or exploring feelings toward war and the role one plays in it, for example. Twain’s protagonists navigate through complex social realities in playfully mischievous ways, often doing the “wrong” thing in order to do the right thing. In his stories, he often creates a sticky situation, or a test, asking the reader to grapple with questions that don't resolve into a single easy answer.


By the by and by and by
Allison SMITH By the by and by and by Edition of 50 plus artist proofs, Silkscreen on linen
Compass Rose
2008
Edition of 50 plus artist proofs, Silkscreen on linen
30 x 22"

Exit Art 2008 Print Portfolio
Allison SMITH By the by and by and by
By the by and by and by
2007
Please click on image again for more detail.

"Twain and Poe Projects: Simon Leung/ Allison Smith/ Amy Yoes," Wave Hill Glyndor Galley, Bronx, New York, curated by Jennifer McGregor. Pennants also exhibited in "The Line of Time and the Plane of Now," Harris Leiberman and Wallspace, organized by Jacob Dyrenforth, Halsey Rodman, and Ohad Meromi, New York; Chair also exhibited in "Allison Smith: The Muster 2005," Governors Island, New York Harbor, New York, a project of the Public Art Fund. Photo credit: Stefan Hagen.

Allison SMITH By the by and by and by
By the by and by and by
2007
Please click on image again for more detail.

"Twain and Poe Projects: Simon Leung/ Allison Smith/ Amy Yoes," Wave Hill Glyndor Galley, Bronx, New York, curated by Jennifer McGregor. Pennants also exhibited in "The Line of Time and the Plane of Now," Harris Leiberman and Wallspace, organized by Jacob Dyrenforth, Halsey Rodman, and Ohad Meromi, New York. Photo credit: Stefan Hagen.
Allison SMITH By the by and by and by
By the by and by and by
2007
Please click on image again for more detail.

"Twain and Poe Projects: Simon Leung/ Allison Smith/ Amy Yoes," Wave Hill Glyndor Galley, Bronx, New York, curated by Jennifer McGregor. Chair also exhibited in "Allison Smith: The Muster 2005," Governors Island, New York Harbor, New York, a project of the Public Art Fund. Photo credit: Stefan Hagen.

Allison SMITH By the by and by and by
By the by and by and by
2007
Please click on image again for more detail.

"Twain and Poe Projects: Simon Leung/ Allison Smith/ Amy Yoes," Wave Hill Glyndor Galley, Bronx, New York, curated by Jennifer McGregor. Blanket also exhibited in "Allison Smith: Hobby Horse," Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Blanket woven by Leigh Alexander. Photo credit: Stefan Hagen.
Allison SMITH By the by and by and by
By the by and by and by
2007
Please click on image again for more detail.

"Twain and Poe Projects: Simon Leung/ Allison Smith/ Amy Yoes," Wave Hill Glyndor Galley, Bronx, New York, curated by Jennifer McGregor. Blanket also exhibited in "Allison Smith: Hobby Horse," Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Blanket woven by Leigh Alexander. Photo credit: Stefan Hagen.

Bibliography Section Article Bibliography Section Catalog Bibliography Section Web Link PDF icon displayed by thumbnail Sold Dot