HIGHLIGHTS – VENICE BIENNALE 2017

As we randomly encountered our contributors, friends, art critics and curators, during the opening days of the 57th Biennale di Venezia we asked them to choose just one work or artist to talk about. Just one. Here Giulia Ferracci’s highlight.

#03 JOHN SMITH at Alma Zevi
Films in Sheep’s Clothing

GIULIA FERRACCI
Curator, MAXXI, National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome.

For the first time in Italy with Films in Sheep’s Clothing, his solo show at Alma Zevi, John Smith (1952) presents four movies among the over fifty produced in almost half a century of filmmaking. Om (1986); The Girl Chewing Gum (1976); Dad’s Stick (2012); Steve Hates Fish (2015) are documentary-films that tell, in an upward trajectory, veiled emotions raised by the intensity of color linked with a father’s identity; conveyed via digital signals that change the aesthetic of the town, by a commanding voice that determines the passersby’s actions in a London street, and by an extreme right-wing young dressed as a Tibetan monk. Multi-faceted and complex Smith’s body of work remains a masterpiece of illusion, black humor and compositional rigour.