Paul DD Smith in conversation with
Find Paul DD Smith’s solo exhibition The Chiral Gate at 1646, which explores the mysteries, anxieties, social pressure and inequalities around reproduction.
Stepping through The Chiral Gate, we get a look into the man-made world of vivariums and terrariums, where animals live under the control of humans and humans play God.
Paul’s exhibition introduces you to a population of creeping and crawling creatures, who each carry the ability to both impregnate and bear children. In his paintings, installations and sculptures, the artist combines ideas related to asexual reproduction and hermaphroditism to ornament and symbolism from Christian mythology. This way, Paul’s work stimulates an exploration of current prevalent notions of sexuality, gender and power, with the intention to open up new ways of thinking.
This exhibition was made possible by Kinderhook & Caracas and IFA Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen.
Paul engages in hand crafts like ceramics, silk painting, embroidery and printmaking. He approaches his artistic practice in a way that reminds us of the haptic approaches of Jugendstil and the Arts and Crafts movement, in which the ornament often exceeds an object’s function. Smith understands the ornament as something that ties erotic forces and by doing so potentially enhances them. Depicting figures which he veils and frames with patterns and ornaments, Smith channels the gaze while also sending it off on detours.
Paul DD Smith lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He holds a Master degree of HFBK Hamburg (class: Jutta Koether), a Bachelor of Leeds Metropolitan University and a Bachelor of Arts and English Literature of Sussex University. In 2020, Smith received the grant from the Kulturprojekte Berlin; he was nominated for the Hiscox Kunst Preis (2017) and participated in the residency program of Künstlerhaus Vorwerkstift in Hamburg (2016) after he received the grant of HFBK Hamburg Freundeskreis. He has had exhibitions at Misc. Athens, Athens (2021); Stroboskop, Warsaw (2021); CK Offspace, Leipzig (2020); Kinderhook & Caracas, Berlin (2020); ACUD Macht Neu, Berlin (2020); ChertLüdde, Berlin (2019); Kunstverein Tiergarten, Berlin (2019); Galerie Genscher, Hamburg (2019); Real Positive, Köln (2016); Electrohaus, Hamburg (2016) and PSL (Project Space Leeds), Leeds (2012).