Programmed by Federico Rossin
Home Suite, Smith’s first video work, is a close-up journey through a domestic landscape and a journey through memory, containing only three cuts over the course of its ninety-six minutes duration. Playing upon ambiguity and the unseen, the tape uses physical details of the space to trigger fragmented verbal descriptions of associated memories.
In “Home Suite”, using subjective camera shots, John Smith shows us round his home in East London shortly before his eviction and the demolition of the crumbling block of flats about to be sacrificed to make way for a new motorway. The dilapidated rooms and old junk in the house stir up memories and lead to tales told by Smith from behind his camera in a distant and ironic tone. It’s the art of endless digression (and infinite shooting too), the enchantment of an obsessive narration focusing on pointless details at the expense of the whole. Despite appearing monotonous, within the inner monologue lies a rich blend of genres. The director covers his tracks, digging up his own life like an archaeologist, and ends up constructing a true documentary character from the ruins of his existence: John Smith.
Cinema historian, independent programmer