Films and videos by John Smith | Chicago Reader

Films and videos by John Smith

London artist John Smith uses lighthearted humor to explore theoretical concerns—Gargantuan (1992), for instance, is both pleasantly silly and acutely conscious of how imagery depends entirely on its framing. A voice-over intones the words huge and strapping as a lizard almost fills the screen, then medium as the camera zooms out, then tiny, and finally minute, a pun on the film's running time. In The Black Tower (1987) towers that appear and disappear mysteriously about London become a metaphor for both individual paranoia and changes in the urban landscape. The sound track of Lost Sound, made with Graeme Miller, is comprised of discarded fragments of audiotape that also appear on-screen, littering the urban landscape. And in the politically engaged Blight (1996) shots of construction sites along a new ring road culminate in a hauntingly arbitrary schematic of London's highway system. Also showing: Associations (1975), Leading Light (1975) The Girl Chewing Gum (1976), Om (1986), and The Waste Land. 106 min.

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