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

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

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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.

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.

Dad’s Stick, 2012 
Steve Hates Fish, 2015 
The Girl Chewing Gum, 1976 
Om, 1986 
Om, 1986 
Fondazione Trussardi, Milan
mumok Wien
Text by Antonio Grulli
180 The Strand, London
Titled We don’t need another hero, the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art is a conversation with artists and contributors who think and act beyond art as they confront the incessant anxieties perpetuated by a willful disregard for complex subjectivities.
Kevin Space, Vienna
Giorgio Galotti, Torino
New Museum, New York. The much anticipated New Museum Triennial, titled this year ’Songs for Sabotage’, opened in February presenting the works of twenty-six artists from nineteen countries, some of which are showing for the first time in an institution.