I Love the Name of the Lord

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
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    Photo: Tom Rankin, 1984
Early 1980s
Paint on tin
58 x 30.5 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Near Smith's house was a garbage dump, piled with discarded corrugated tin–strong, interesting material, free for the taking. Smith dragged home piece after piece of it, day after day, and with an ax she split off strip after strip. She then split some of the strips into smaller strips and some of the smaller strips into even smaller ones, and with the deft improvisational sense of the best quilter or the best assemblage sculptor or jazz musician or poet, she marked her space with a fence of whitewashed corrugated tin strips, providing herself with the ever-presence of a continuously running jazz symphony or epic poem, or the world’s longest strip quilt. Like Penelope weaving her never-ending tapestry while awaiting the return of Odysseus, this was a woman ready to make a statement.