LADA Screens: Maxima Smith – Online Screening

LADA is delighted to present the online screening of the short film Crying with my Family by Maxima Smith as the third of four LADA Screens events centred around the themes of voice, care and healing.

This online screening follows a live event at LADA on Friday 22 March 2024 featuring a screening of the film and a Q&A with Maxima.

This film will be available to watch online until Saturday 20 April.

Crying with my Family

About 'Crying with my Family'

Crying with my Family (2022) questions the authenticity of emotion as well as how non-verbal somatic processing can lead to corporeal catharsis and collective healing. The film is set in the artist’s family home, where she is joined around the kitchen table by her brother and parents. As they follow the direction to cut onions, they begin to produce tears and silently cry.

This work was made within the final few weeks of the artist’s grandfather’s life, and the complex family dynamics surrounding this led to a difficulty in processing emotions during this period. Within this context, the performance uses the camera as an ‘excuse’ to ‘perform’ tears and in turn process corporeally and silently through a collective moment of sadness.

Crying with my Family is imbued with the themes of voice(less) care and healing and proposes that in a world in which everything is processed through language, text and screens, there is irreplaceable importance to being in space with one another, to bypass verbalisation and process somatically, and heal on a cellular level. By keeping the moment non-verbal, free from intricacies or details, Maxima’s hope is that her family can act as a stand-in for whomever is watching, and whomever they would like to cut onions and cry with.

Film credits
Crying with my Family, 2022, 4k Video, 09:52.


Maxima Smith’s work, primarily based in performances to camera, examines the mediation of the camera and somatic processing, and is influenced by the slippage between sincerity and absurdity. Maxima questions feminine archetypes and roles, critiquing gendered acts such as mimicry to reinforce the performativity of gender. She situates much of her work in the blurred boundary between ‘on’ and ‘off-stage,’ where questions arise of how we act and perform ourselves.

Maxima holds a BA from the Slade School of Fine Art in London (2016) and an MA in Art Praxis from the Dutch Art Institute (2023). After receiving the Queen Mary’s Commission and Award in 2017, she created Ode to a Window Cleaner; a body of work which included a live performance event performed by Danny Collony, as well as a public art work at QMUL, and a multichannel video installation. Maxima has continually shown at the Nunnery Gallery for their recurring moving-image programme, Visions (2022, 2020, 2018). She has exhibited across the UK and has shown internationally at Pixelache2019 in Helsinki; Magazzino Gallery in Venice (2023); and Centrale Fies, Dro (2023), where she performed Crying with Friends. She has an upcoming solo exhibition Crocodile Tears in April 2024 at Asylum Studios in Suffolk.

more about Maxima's work

About LADA Screens

LADA Screens is a series of free, online screenings of seminal performance documentation, works to camera, short films/video and archival footage. It is part of Live Online, LADA’s dedicated space where you can watch short videos and films drawn from LADA’s Study Room or generated through our programmes and initiatives.

Each screening is available to view for a limited time only, and is launched with a live event at our space in Bethnal Green, London.

This film was selected through an open call for short videos and films around the themes of voice, care and healing.

LADA Screens is curated by the Live Art Development Agency (LADA). LADA is a ‘Centre for Live Art’: a knowledge centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, a research centre setting artists and ideas in motion, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination.

more about lada screens

Banner image credit:

Maxima Smith, behind the scenes photograph from Crying with my Family, 2022.

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