When it comes to art, smiles can be tricky things: Miles Davis almost never smiled though he lived into his 60s and — in his own words — “changed music five or six times”; Marilyn Monroe smiled all the way to her suicide; the Mona Lisa's smirk is ambivalent to say the least.
This Saturday night at Seed Space, former Nashvillian Liz Clayton Scofield will present her performance “How to Smile in 34 Steps — LIVE!” The artist will present each of the 34 steps she attributes to the perfect smile on cue cards while her performance is mimicked on a video projection that the artist will perform in front of — if you can't smile at yourself, at whom can you smile? After presenting the rules of her game, Scofield plans to keep on smiling for the rest of the opening — I hope she knows that the We/Ho scene often becomes the de facto First Saturday after party. This could be a really long night for Scofield and her Cheshire cheeks.
Lucky for her she'll get a halftime break in the form of a screening of Melissa Potter's short documentary “Like Other Girls Do,” which addresses questions about gender identity and legacy, blending nicely with kinds of inquiries that also appear in Scofield's work. “Girls” explores the life of Stana Cerović who lived her whole life as a man in a small village in Montenegro. Now the village has all but disappeared and Cerović can't find a mason to carve her name on a stone for the family graveyard to ensure her legacy as her father's son.
Scofield's performance begins at 8 P.M. And Potter's film will screen around 9 P.M.