John Smith (filmmaker)
John Smith (b. 1952, Walthamstow, England) is an award winning avant garde filmmaker noted for his use of humour in exploring various themes that often play upon the film spectator's conditioned assumptions of the medium. Noted works include The Girl Chewing Gum (1976), Om (1987), The Kiss (1999) and Blight (1999).
John Smith studied film at the Royal College of Art. After graduating in 1977 he became involved in the activities of the London Filmmakers’ Co-op. Strongly influenced by the Structural Materialist ideas which dominated British artists’ filmmaking at that time, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, John Smith has developed a body of work which reworks and transforms reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema.
Since 1972 John Smith has made over forty film, video and installation works that have been shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television throughout the world and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals. His solo exhibitions include Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin (2010), Sala Diaz Gallery, San Antonio, Texas (2010), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2006), Kunstmuseum Magdeburg (2005), Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool (2003) and Pearl Gallery, London (2003). A major retrospective exhibition of his work encompassing work from 1972 to 2010 curated by the graduating students of the Royal College of Art Curating Contemporary Art Course took place in spring 2010 at the RCA Galleries . Smith regularly presents his work in person and in recent years it has been profiled through retrospectives at the 2007 Venice Biennale and film festivals in Oberhausen, Cork, Tampere, Uppsala, Bristol, Regensburg, Glasgow and La Rochelle.
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