John Smith: Unusual Red Cardigan

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.”

-PEER

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