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Co-op Dialogues 1966-2016: John Smith and Laure Prouvost

Mon 7 Mar 2016 / 7pm - 9pm

Tate Britain, Clore Auditorium
Tickets via Tate
Book online

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the London Film-Makers’ Co-op (LFMC), a ground-breaking organisation that inaugurated a tradition for the production, distribution, and exhibition of artists’ moving image in the United Kingdom that remains vibrant today. To mark this anniversary LUX and Tate Britain  will present a monthly series of screenings and artists’ conversations revisiting the legacy of the London Film-makers’ Co-op and its significance today.

Initially inspired by conceptual art and the structural/materialist ideas that dominated British artists’ filmmaking around the LFMC during his formative years, John Smith (UK, 1958) has developed an extensive body of work that subverts the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. Fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, and often rooted in everyday life, Smith’s meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema.

A student of Smith’s at Central St Martins, Turner award winner Laure Prouvost (FR, 1978) playfully manipulates connections between language, image and perception in her video work in order to subvert our notions of what is real and what is not. Prouvost’s unique approach employs quick cuts, montage, direct address, on-screen text and deliberate misuse of language. The result is seductive, immersive and often disorientating.

The screening of their work will be followed by a conversation between Smith and Prouvost.


The Black Tower, John Smith, 1985-7, 26 mins

Wantee, Laure Prouvost, 2013, 15 mins

Dad’s Stick, John Smith, 2012, 5 mins

Monolog, Laure Prouvost, 2009, 12 mins

Steve Hates Fish, John Smith, 2015, 4 mins


Still from John Smith's The Black Tower, 1985-7