Born 1952 - London, England
John Smith was born in London in 1952 and studied film at the Royal College of Art. Since 1972 he has made over 40 film, video and installations works. His films have been shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television throughout the world and awarded major prizes at film festivals in Leipzig, Oberhausen, Hamburg, Cork, Geneva, Palermo, Graz, Uppsala, Bangkok, Ann Arbor and Chicago. One-person presentations of his work include exhibitions at Ikon Gallery (Birmingham), Pearl Gallery (London), Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool), Kunstmuseum Magdeburg (Germany) and retrospectives at the Venice Biennale and Oberhausen, Cork, Tampere, Uppsala, Regensburg and Winterthur international film festivals. John Smith is Professor of Fine Art at the University of East London.
"The films of John Smith conduct a serious investigation into the combination of sound and image, but with a sense of humour that reaches out beyond the traditional avant-garde audience. His films move between narrative and absurdity, constantly undermining the traditional relationship between the visual and the aural. By blurring the perceived boundaries of experimental film, fiction, and documentary, Smith never delivers what he has led the spectator to expect."
—Mark Webber, Leeds International Film Festival, 2000
"The popularity of John Smith’s films can be explained by his wry sense of humour, his play on language, and the elegance of his visual style. His understated humour thinly conceals a darker layer of meaning in his films. John Smith’s skill as both narrator and composer of visual narratives leaves us discomforted even as we smile."
—Catherine Elwes, UK/Canadian Video Exchange, 2000
"These films can be enjoyed as stories; films for everyone, especially in their humour. They comprise a personal topography of East London, blighted but alive. Viewers are enticed to interrogate the very illusions that films construct in front of their eyes—and behind their backs."
—A.L. Rees, A Directory of British Film and Video Artists, 1996
Available Titles by John Smith
|The Girl Chewing Gum||1976||Single Titles|
|The Black Tower||1987||Single Titles|
|Slow Glass||1991||Single Titles|
|The Waste Land||1999||Single Titles|
|The Kiss||1999||Single Titles|
|Lost Sound||2001||Single Titles|
|Frozen War||2002||Single Titles|
|John Smith: Program 1||2002||Single Artist Compilations|
|John Smith: Program 2||2002||Single Artist Compilations|
|Worst Case Scenario||2003||Single Titles|
|Throwing Stones||2004||Single Titles|
|Museum Piece||2004||Single Titles|
|B & B||2005||Single Titles|
|Hotel Diaries: John Smith||2005||Single Artist Compilations|
|Dirty Pictures||2007||Single Titles|
|Six Years Later||2007||Single Titles|
|Flag Mountain||2010||New Releases, Single Titles|
|unusual Red cardigan||2011||New Releases, Single Titles|
|Dad's Stick||2012||New Releases, Single Titles|