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Frozen War

John Smith

UK, 2002
11 minutes, Colour, sound, 4:3
Original format: SD video
Available formats: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file

Made in Ireland, October 8th 2001.

A spontaneous response to the bombing of Afghanistan triggered by a disorientating experience in an Irish hotel room.

Frozen War is the first video in the “Hotel Diaries” series, a collection of late night recordings made in European hotel rooms which relate personal experiences to contemporary world events. Works in the series currently include Frozen War (Ireland, 2001), Museum Piece (Germany, 2004), Throwing Stones (Switzerland, 2004), B & B (England, 2005) and Pyramids (Netherlands 2006). They can be shown individually or as a chronological group.

“…These deceptively unassuming works consist of single takes from the point of view of Smith’s camcorder as he explores the nocturnal spaces of hotels he is staying in and delivers monologues on his thoughts and observations. At once politically concerned and very funny, these brilliantly structured ramblings connect the observations of his surroundings with the horror of world events in consistently surprising ways.” Maximilian Le Cain, Film Ireland Magazine

“In Frozen War, UK artist John Smith, holed up in a hotel room far from home, turns the tables on the TV news as he starts to ask the questions they never do.” Abina Manning, programme notes for Video Mundi Film Festival, Chicago.