AboutArtists and film-makers Guy Ben Ner and John Smith are admirers of each other's work and have a similar strategy of using humour, voiceover and their immediate environments. Site Gallery and Gimple Fils are delighted to present Guy's new work Spies commissioned by Site Gallery, alongside older works including John Smith's 1985-6 The Black Tower. The screening will be followed by an in-conversation between the two artists.
Guy Ben-Ner was born in Israel in 1969 and currently lives in Tel Aviv. Since the early 90s, Ben-Ner has produced a series of films starring himself and his family, sometimes using the intimate spaces of their home as ad-hoc set or, conversely, in one well known work, using the display sets of Ikea as a setting for a domestic drama. More recent works move away from the use of his family, but often still focus on the ethical question of where to draw the line between art and life, between and personal and professional relations. The films wittily mix the home-made and a sophisticated range of literary and art historical references. He currently has exhibitions at Site Gallery, Sheffield and Gimpel Fils Gallery, London.
John Smith was born in Walthamstow, East London in 1952 and studied film at the Royal College of Art. Inspired by the Structural Materialist ideas which dominated British artists' filmmaking during his formative years, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, he has developed a body of work which deftly subverts the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. Drawing upon the raw material of everyday life, Smith's meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema.
The two artists are admirers of each other's work and have a similar strategy of using humour, voiceover and their immediate environments in their film-making.