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INVISIBLE-EXPORTS is pleased to present Believe You Me\, a solo exhibition of new work by Mickey Smith.

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We trust books—just don’t ask us to read them.

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The second solo exhi bition of work by Mickey Smith is a multi-media inquiry into the use of boo ks as symbols of intellectual status in popular culture. In the found\, res tyled and original images that make up her critical series Believe You Me\, shelves of indistinct books are used as backdrops — in some cases simply painted curtains — to perform a signaling function and confer a mea sure of erudition within a particular kind of aspirational portrait. But wh at signaling value can such images of books truly have\, if they work the s ame way behind Martin Luther King as they do behind a porn star or a war cr iminal?

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Believe You Me is an exercise in exuberant appropr iation art that functions\, too\, as an elegiac lament over the loss of sta ndards and customs that govern our use of culture\, and the two-dimensional works gathered here trace the shape of that unfortunate decline. In her su ite of re-photographed midcentury portraits\, drawn the Picture Collection of the New York Public Library\, Smith pays a kind of reverent tribute to t he subjects\, radiant dignitaries whose presence seems to shine on the book s behind them as much as\, or more than\, vice versa. Working with found ph otographs of more contemporary figures\, Smith is more whimsical and cuttin g\, cropping the portraits and screen-stills to highlight the stagecraft ab surdity—and subverting\, pointedly\, the emanant power of the book\, as she does\, too\, in a short video pieced together from reality television. And in a final large-format photograph\, she delivers a second-order tromp e-l’oeil send-up\, documenting at a coroner’s remove the flat and gene ric library curtains designed to be hung behind those seated for somber por traits at local photography studios\, ad-hoc school photo days\, and Wal-Ma rt portrait stations alike.

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In her previous body of work\, Volu me\, Smith photographed library-stack sets of bound periodicals to mem orialize those shared objects of a common literary culture\, now passed. In Believe You Me\, she examines the manner in which books and book imagery continue to deliver status even in a culture that has turned away f rom reading—indeed even more powerfully\, and more pervasively\, than in er as that had not yet given up on the book as a storehouse of knowledge and w isdom. In these contemporary images\, books have become vacant props\, draf ted into private battles and culture wars out of a desperate nostalgia for the fading power of the written word.

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Mickey Smith (b . 1972 Duluth\, MN USA) received a BA in Photography from Minnesota State U niversity\, Moorhead in 1994. Smith has received the McKnight Artist Fellow ship for Photography as well as grants from Forecast Public Art Affairs\, C EC ArtsLink and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She has exhibited in New York\, China and Russia. In 2010\, her work was selected as one of the 40 best permanent public art works in the United States by the Americans fo r the Arts. Smith is represented by Invisible-Exports in New York.

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DTEND:20101219 DTSTAMP:20140827T122037 DTSTART:20101029 GEO:40.715155;-73.9917254 LOCATION:Invisible-Exports\,89 ELDRIDGE STREET \nNew york\, NY 10002 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: Believe You Me\, Mickey Smith UID:121876 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20101029T200000 DTSTAMP:20140827T122037 DTSTART:20101029T180000 GEO:40.715155;-73.9917254 LOCATION:Invisible-Exports\,89 ELDRIDGE STREET \nNew york\, NY 10002 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: Believe You Me\, Mickey Smith UID:133632 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR