Made over six years in the hotels of six different countries. Hotel Diaries charts the ‘War on Terror’ era of Bush and Blair through a series of video recordings that relate personal experiences to the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel/Palestine.
In these works, which play upon chance and coincidence, the hotel room is employed as a ‘found’ film set, where the architecture, furnishing and decoration become the means by which the artist’s small adventures are linked to major world events.
“These deceptively unassuming works consist of single takes from the point of view of Smith’s camcorder as he explores the nocturnal spaces of hotels he is staying in and delivers monologues on his thoughts and observations. At once politically concerned and very funny, these brilliantly structured ramblings connect the observations of his surroundings with the horror of world events in consistently surprising ways.” Maximilian Le Cain, Film Ireland Magazine.
John Smith was born in Walthamstow, east London in 1952 and studied at the Royal College of Art. Over five decades he has made over fifty film, video and installation works that have been widely shown internationally in art galleries, independent cinemas and on television and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals. He received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists in 2011, and in 2013 he was the winner of Film London’s Jarman Award. His work is held in numerous public collections including Tate Gallery, Arts Council England, Kunstmuseum Magdeburg and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.