Crystal Z Campbell is a multidisciplinary artist, experimental filmmaker, and writer of African American, Filipino, and Chinese descents. Campbell finds complexity in public secrets—fragments of information known by many but untold or unspoken. Using archival material, recent works consider historical gaps in the narrative of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, revisit questions of immortality and medical ethics with Henrietta Lacks' “immortal” cell line, ponder the role of a political monument and displacement in a Swedish coastal landscape, and salvage a 35mm film from a demolished Black activist theater in Brooklyn as a relic of gentrification. Sonic, material, and archival traces of the witness inform their work in film/video, performance, installation, sound, painting, and writing.
Honors and awards include a 2022 Creative Capital Award; Harvard Radcliffe Film Study Center & David and Roberta Logie Fellowship; Pollock-Krasner Award; MAP Fund; MacDowell; MAAA; Skowhegan; Rijksakademie; Whitney ISP; Franklin Furnace; UNDO Fellowship; Tulsa Artist Fellowship; Black Spatial Relics; and Flaherty Film Seminar, amongst others. Select exhibitions and screenings include the Drawing Center (US), Nest (NL), ICA-Philadelphia (US), MOMA (US), BLOCK Museum (US), REDCAT (US), Artissima (IT), Studio Museum of Harlem (US), Bemis (US), Project Row Houses (US), SculptureCenter (US), and SFMOMA (US). Campbell’s writing is featured in two artist books (VSW Press), World Literature Today, Monday Journal, GARAGE, and Hyperallergic. Founder of the virtual programming platform archiveacts.com, Campbell was named a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Fine Arts and is currently a Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Art at the University of Buffalo. Campbell lives and works in New York & Oklahoma.