John Smith: "Dirty Pictures", Palestine 2007
In conjunction with the art platform e-flux/In Zusammenarbeit mit der Kunstplattform e-flux
John Smith is an artist and filmmaker who lives and works in London. His work is held in the collections of Tate Gallery; Arts Council England; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz; FRAC Île de France, Paris; Kunstmuseum Magdeburg; Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, Miami; Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. His films are distributed by LUX, London; Video Data Bank, Chicago; Canyon Cinema, San Francisco and Light Cone, Paris. He is represented by Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Kate MacGarry, London.
“To the question of how one travels and collects images without objectifying, John Smith answers by shooting the generic in place of the exotic. In Dirty Pictures, an Englishman travels to Palestine but instead of showing us the long lines at the checkpoints, the military artillery on display or the unbearable poverty inflicted on the general population, he elects to shoot the familiar interior of two common hotel rooms. But nothing is ever entirely banal in the West Bank or so it seems. As the wind from the window of his room hits the ceiling, the tiles start moving up and down. Off-camera, Smith explains that this newly renovated hotel reopened recently after being requisitioned by the Israeli army in 2000 at the start of the second Intifada because of its strategic location on top of a hill. The surreal movement of the tiles becomes a poetic reminder of the building’s haunted past.” Frédéric Moffet, curator’s statement, ‘I don’t want to tell you who I am’, Cinéma Parallèle, Montreal
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