Masterclass: Limitation and Chance as Film Strategies

On Thursday 18th May at 17:00 at Dokukino KIC, in co-organization of Restart and Subversive Festival, there will be a masterclass by award-winning British avant-garde filmmaker John Smith, who has been creating playful experimental films of all forms and formats for more than 50 years. Smith will hold a masterclass on limitation and chance as cinematic strategies, accompanied by a retrospective of his witty miniatures that transform seemingly banal everyday events into poetic metaphors for the human condition.

John Smith’s films frequently involve self-imposed restrictions relating to location, technology and formal structure. Believing that all meanings can be found close to home if you look hard enough, he will present a varied selection of excerpts that show how the imposition of limitations and a trust in chance can operate as essential components of creative work.

Before the masterclass on Tuesday and Wednesday, 16th and 17th May at Dokukino KIC at 21:00, we will watch John Smith’s short films chosen by the author himself in two blocks.

Entrance to the masterclass and the screenings is free.

John Smith (1952) studied at the Royal College of Art in London. After graduating in 1977 he became an active member of the London Filmmakers’ Co-op. Inspired in his formative years by conceptual art and structural film, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, Smith has developed a diverse body of work which blurs the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema. Often rooted in everyday life, his films are known for their formal ingenuity, subversive wit and oblique storytelling. Noted works include The Girl Chewing Gum (1976), The Black Tower (1987), Blight (1996) and Dad’s Stick (2012). Since 1972 John Smith has made over sixty film, video and installation works that have been shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television around the world and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals. He received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Artist’s Award in 2011, and in 2013 he was the winner of Film London’s Jarman Award. His many solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig (2015), Centre d’Art Contemporain de Noisy-le-Sec, Paris (2014), Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2012), Royal College of Art Galleries, London (2010), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2006) and Kunstmuseum Magdeburg (2005). He regularly presents his work in person and it has been profiled through retrospectives at the 2007 Venice Biennale and film festivals in Oberhausen, Tampere, Leipzig, St. Petersburg, La Rochelle, Lussas, Mexico City, Uppsala, Cork, Sarajevo, Prizren, Munich, Regensburg, Stuttgart, Vilnius, Karlstad and Winterthur. His work is held in the collections of Tate Gallery; Arts Council England; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz; FRAC Île de France, Paris; Kunstmuseum Magdeburg; Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. He lives and works in London and is Emeritus Professor of Fine Art at University of East London.