Sable Elyse Smith’s C.R.E.A.M. locates the intersection of a specific fantasy of racial exclusion and containment in the mutual investments of real estate development and the prison system. Hollywoodland—the segregated community founded in 1923 and once advertised by the original version of the now iconic sign that sits atop the hills of Los Angeles—and Ironwood State Prison, come together in the imaginary of IRONWOODLAND, a sign Smith installed on the High Line in New York in 2018. Mining personal archives, research materials, and pop cultural references (with the book’s title a homage to Wu-Tang Clan’s 1993 eponymous song), Smith’s Cash Rules Everything Around Me spins out to consider the constant threat of police violence against Black and queer bodies, the prison system and its attendant procedures and regulations, and the interior, emotional landscape of personal trauma and memory. C.R.E.A.M. features writing by Sable Elyse Smith, poetry by A. H. Jerriod Avant, and an essay by Jessica Lynne.
C.R.E.A.M. is published on the occasion of the exhibition Moving Body, Moving Study at BAM and C.R.E.A.M., a High Line Art Commission, by Wendy’s Subway and BAM, Brooklyn with support from the High Line, New York, through the Art for Justice Fund, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
About the author
Sable Elyse Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator based in New York and Richmond, Virginia. Using video, sculpture, photography, and text, she points to the carceral, the personal, the political, and the quotidian to speak about a violence that is largely unseen, and potentially imperceptible. Her work has been featured at MoMA PS1, New Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, JTT, Rachel Uffner Gallery, and Recess Assembly, New York; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Artist Television Access, San Francisco, CA; Birkbeck Cinema in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries, London. Her writing has been published in Radical Teacher, Studio Magazine and Affidavit and she is currently working on her first book. Smith has received awards from Creative Capital, Fine Arts Work Center, the Queens Museum, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, the Franklin Furnace Fund, and Art Matters. She is currently Assistant Professor of Sculpture & Extended Media at the University of Richmond.