Last week artist Beatrice Gibson spoke at Eastside Projects about her film, A Necessary Music. It's been showing at the gallery alongside Simon & Tom Bloor's exhibition and was also part of the programme for Planning for Play. Beatrice's talk framed her work with clips from Robert Ashley, Peter Watkins (director of Flatpack feature, Privilege) and a short from doctor of deconstruction, John Smith.
Girl Chewing Gum is the third Smith film that I've seen in the space of two weeks and is a fixed-cam street scene of 1970s east London. Smith narrates the piece, calling directions and approval to passers-by as if they are playing out roles on a studio set.
Other Smith sightings included Channel 2's series of shorts, where a hotel room video diary, that begins as a monologue about his room's flapping ceiling tiles, pulls back to reveal his location on the Israeli/Palestinian border. Planning for Play also included John Smith's wordgame-as-film, Associations, and the humour, economy and subtlety found throughout his films has made him a father figure of Flatpack 3. If you can't wait for Flatpack 4 and the possibility of future J. Smith screenings there's a DVD available from the LUX shop. Girl Chewing Gum can be YouTubed, here.