Brass band to perform on top of Calton Hill

Collective will present a new performance by Cauleen Smith, commissioned as part of the current exhibition of her 2014 film H-E-L-L-O in the City Dome.

Collective brings people together to look at, think about and produce contemporary art in a new kind of City Observatory.

Cauleen Smith is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. She believes in the transformative power of art, music and text, and employs radical thought as a tool in her work to envision a better world.

H-E-L-L-O (2014) signals a search for connection in a time of uncertainty and unrest, bringing together themes of historic erasure, presence and loss.

Performed in a series of significant cultural and public spaces in New Orleans during the regeneration of the city post Hurricane Katrina, H-E-L-L-O re-interprets the famous five-note musical motif from Stephen Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. With this five-note sequence, the artist signals a desire for connection across boundaries and borders, real and imagined.

Collective will host Cauleen Smith in Edinburgh to produce a public performance of the five-note sequence composed by John Williams. Working with Collective’s unique landscape, architecture and backdrop, the performance will take place across Calton Hill and will feature five locally based musicians playing the score as a call and response on their bass clef instruments.

The installation of Cauleen Smith’s film in Collective’s City Dome space brings the themes of H-E-L-L-O into conversation with her long-term interest in astronomy and coastal cities. H-E-L-L-O bears witness to the devastating impact and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and hones in on the damage that has been done to the long established African American community through the city’s eagerness to embrace regeneration.

The performance will create an opportunity for art and music to be rooted in these discussions and in Calton Hill as a site with a long history of cultural and political gatherings.

Born in 1967, Cauleen lives and works in Los Angeles. She is a Professor at CalArts School of Art.

Her films, objects, and installations have been featured in group exhibitions including: the Whitney Biennial; Prospect 4, New Orleans; Studio Museum Harlem; the Contemporary Art Museum Houston; the New Museum, New York; and BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK. She has had solo exhibitions at: MASS MoCA; the Art Institute of Chicago; Institute for Contemporary Art Pennsylvania; the Museum of Contemporary, Chicago and upcoming at: Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston and a two person exhibition with Theaster Gates at the San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art.

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