Projects: Ming Smith offers a critical reintroduction to a photographer who has been living and working in New York since the 1970s. The result of the curators’ deep dive into Smith’s archive, this exhibition bridges the distance between the present and the past, opening a photographic portal through which to encounter her images anew. The exhibition highlights how Smith’s images collapse the senses, encouraging us to attend to the hue of sound, the rhythm of form, and the texture of vision. As critic A. D. Coleman has written, Smith “sees and thinks in the minor key.”
Ming Smith has inspired a generation of artists engaging the politics and poetics of the photographic image in relation to experiences of Blackness. Through her use of long exposures, Smith dissolves the boundaries between her subjects and their surroundings, creating dreamlike, abstract images led by intuition and honed through repetition.
Image: Ming Smith, Circular Breathing, Hart Leroy Bibbs, Paris, 1980 / courtesy of MoMA