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John Smith

UK, 1992
1 minutes, colour, Sound, 4:3
Original format: 16mm film
Available formats: 16mm / DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file / HD Digital file / BluRay

“London artist John Smith uses light-hearted humour to explore theoretical concerns – Gargantuan, 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.” Fred Camper, Chicago Reader 2001

“To master the one minute time-span requires considerable discipline and few pieces if any had been shaped as genuine miniatures, most having the appearance of being extracts from larger works. The notable exception was John Smith’s ‘Gargantuan’ which was not only the right length for the idea but actually incorporated a triple pun on the word ‘minute’.” Nicky Hamlyn, Vertigo 1992.

“A wonderfully witty example of how to conduct pillow talk with a small amphibian.” Elaine Paterson, Time Out 1992.