On Saturday the 5th of November I traveled to Hoxton, London to the Peer gallery and witnessed John Smith’s exhibition of the Unusual Red Cardigan. The event is a unique experience as the small gallery is very discrete and tucked away from the busier places of London. I was buzzed into to an small, almost empty dark room with one other person watching Smith’s The Girl Chewing Gum. The original short film from 1976 was layered over a more recent reshoot in color of the same topic and scene creating a very interesting collage of two films. I think it can relate to my work in documentary and critical practice as it deals with everyday situations and documents life in a very objective way. This is similar to the way I am dealing with the tube.
“Acclaimed artist filmmaker and lifelong east Londoner John Smith will present a major new multi-media installation. His starting point is one of his best-known works, The Girl Chewing Gum, which he made as a student in 1976. Smith revisits this work, both in terms of its continuing legacy and also in a literal sense, filming the same street corner in Dalston 35 years on. From this video work, Smith then leads us on a narrative journey that explores ideas around identity and anonymity – both his own (as perhaps underlined by the ubiquitousness of his name), and that of his two main protagonists, the girl who chews gum in his film and an on-line seller of his video containing this work.”