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Video Data Bank, in collaboration with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation  and the Gene Siskel Film Center presents:

In his playful and thought-provoking short films and videos, UK filmmaker John Smith explores the language of cinema and reflects on the role of the image in politics, war, and the global economy. The 2013 Jarman Award winner presents a selection from across his 40-year career, including the seminal The Girl Chewing Gum (1976), an absurdist fantasy applied to the banal setting of a busy London street; Throwing Stones (2004), a personal and political meditation on ongoing conflicts in the Middle East; Dad’s Stick (2012), a surprising personal history; and the Chicago premiere of Dark Light (2014), among others.
 



Presented in collaboration between the Video Data Bank, Northwestern University’s Department of Art Theory and Practice, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, and the University of Chicago’s Film Studies Center. Smith presents his work at the Block Museum of Art on Wednesday, October 15th and at the Logan Center for the Arts on Friday, October 17th.

CATE is FREE to SAIC students with a valid student ID
$11 General Public
$6 Film Center members
$7 Students $5 SAIC faculty and staff and Art Institute of Chicago staff

Can't join us in Chicago?  VDB offers over 25 titles by John Smith in its collection, including:
The Girl Chewing Gum

1976 0:12:00, United Kingdom, English, B&W, sound, 4:3, film

“A commanding voice over appears to direct the action in a busy London street. As the instructions become more absurd and fantasised, we realise that the supposed director (not the shot) is fictional; he only describes – not prescribes – the events that take place before him."  - A.L. Rees, A Directory of British Film & Video Artists 1995
 
Throwing Stones

2004, 0:10:55, United Kingdom, English, color, sound, 4:3, DV video

As the camera looks out through a barred window and the clock strikes four in a Swiss city, the death of Yasser Arafat provides the starting point for a journey back in time. Throwing Stones is the third episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world’s hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.
 
Dad's Stick

2012, 0:04:54, United Kingdom, English, color, sound, 16:9, HD video

Dad’s Stick features three objects that my father showed me shortly before he died. Two of these were so well-used that their original forms and functions were almost completely obscured. The third object seemed to be instantly recognizable, but it turned out to be something else entirely.
--John Smith

 
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