birthday cake
March 1 – April 23, 2021

Today is Your Birthday

A multi-space installation work by Los Angeles artist Eli Smith, Today Is Your Birthday is an inquiry into the labor of both forgetting and remembering across generations.

This series of scripted spaces, closed to the public and presented virtually, is a post-immigration story for a post-Trump reality, a rumination on American whiteness, and a reflection on the impulse to position our identities within the mythos of the past.

Painstakingly recreated, photo-realistic environments collide with psychological landscapes, stage sets and sculptural elements to form an absurd odyssey of epic proportions, effectively encapsulating two hundred years of events within the minutiae of one simultaneously mundane and exquisitely precious moment.

ArtCenter DTLA
114 W. 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Today is Your Birthday

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Five, interconnected rooms trace overlapping family histories across the Atlantic. From the Great Famine in Ireland to the coal mines in Pennsylvania to the daily grind of a modern-day 9 to 5, it all culminates in one event: the birthday.

A demarcation of individuality, originally intended as a celebration of survival, the birthday is both the largest and the smallest day of the year. Created through a collaborative process built upon an exchange of individual and shared living histories, Today Is Your Birthday asks what it means to survive and thrive in the United States of America. 

(Today Is Your Birthday is presented as part of the Love’s Remedies Initiative (ArtCenter DTLA Residency Project 2020.)

ArtCenter DTLA Residency Project

An open-ended forum for the college and larger art community