Crystal Z Campbell, a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Fine Arts, is a multidisciplinary artist, experimental filmmaker, and writer of Black, Filipinx, and Chinese descents Campbell finds complexity in public secrets—fragments of information known by many but undertold or unspoken. Campbell’s works use underloved archival material to consider historical gaps––from the narrative of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, questions of immortality and medical ethics with Henrietta Lacks' “immortal” cell line, and gentrification via a 35mm film relic salvaged from a demolished Black activist theater in Brooklyn. Campbell’s most recent film, REVOLVER, is an archive of pareidolia (a situation in which someone sees a pattern or image of something that does not exist) narrated by a descendent of Exodusters. Campbell’s creative practice spans painting, sculpture, performance, film, writing, and site-specific installations.
Campbell was a featured filmmaker at the 67th Flaherty Film Seminar programmed by Almudena Escobar López and Sky Hopinka, and their film, REVOLVER, received the Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival and was featured in the Berlinale International Film Festival Expanded Film Forum. Campbell’s films and artwork have screened and exhibited internationally: Artists Space, MIT List Visual Arts Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Bemis, Walker Art Center, European Media Art Festival (EMAF), The Drawing Center, Nest, ICA-Philadelphia, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), BLOCK Museum, REDCAT, Artissima, Studio Museum of Harlem, Bemis, Project Row Houses, SculptureCenter, EMPAC, and DocLisboa, amongst others.
A recipient of a 2022 Creative Capital award, other honors include a Harvard Radcliffe Film Study Center Fellowship, Pollock-Krasner Award, MAP Fund, MacDowell, Skowhegan, Rijksakademie, Whitney ISP, Black Spatial Relics, and Franklin Furnace Award. Campbell’s artwork and films are held by MIT List Center, Duke University, MAG Rochester, Harvard University, and other collections in the US and abroad.
Campbell’s writing is featured in two artist books published by Visual Studies Workshop Press, World Literature Today, Monday Journal, GARAGE, and Hyperallergic. Founder of the virtual programming platform archiveacts.com, Campbell is currently a Visiting Associate Professor in Art and Media Study at the University at Buffalo. Campbell lives and works in New York & Oklahoma. www.crystalzcampbell.com