Gallery 210 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis will continue its ongoing series of videos by contemporary artists with “Worst Case Scenario” by John Smith. The exhibit will open April 1 and run through May 29.
“Worst Case Scenario” is an 18-minute black-and-white video featuring a series of still photographs shot at a busy intersection in Vienna, Austria. Rather than a chronological documentation of the area, Smith re-orders and manipulates the photos to create an increasingly improbable chain of events.
“Smith’s 30 years of eccentric, good-humored and enlightening radical filmmaking opened up endless possibilities for visual creativity,” said Keith Gallasch in a 2003 issue of Realtime magazine. “His ‘Worst Case Scenario,’ comprising a stream of movie-like images from rapidly shot camera stills taken on a Vienna street corner, is an exquisite documentation of everyday waiting, eating and road-crossing, with just a whiff of Freud.”
Smith is a native of London where he studied film at the Royal College of Art and still lives today. He has gone on to make more than 40 film, video and installation works, which have been shown in cinemas, at art galleries and on televisions throughout the world. The avant garde filmmaker counts among his influences the structural materialist ideas that dominated films during the British artist’s formative years, as well as the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word. Smith’s work often draws upon the raw material of everyday life, capturing documentary-style footage that he is apt to transform into an alternative fictional reality.
Gallery 210 is in the Telecommunity Center at UMSL, One University Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63121. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. All gallery exhibits are free and open to the public.
“Worst Case Scenario” is sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History at UMSL, the Center for Humanities at UMSL, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council.