I was asked by Barbara Gladstone Gallery to create a video made from unseen Jack Smith footage for their first posthumous show of the artist’s work. Knowing of Jack’s distaste for the commercial gallery world, I knew I couldn’t take the gallery’s assignment at face value.
For my contribution, I drew on an anecdote Tony Conrad told about visiting a Jack Smith shoot. The actors were taking hours to get costumed but Jack didn’t worry. He said that this is the only time the actors got to live in reality, so he let them relish in it. I agree with this idea that Jack Smith's reality is the real reality—we are living in a fiction the majority of our lives. I planned a more Jack-appropriate opening of the Gladstone show a few days before the official opening. I asked artists, collectors, writers and dancers to come to the gallery and tap into this Jack Smith-reality (aka the only reality). We filmed the event and showed it at the later opening. We made a mess in the gallery for Jack, if only for a night.
Kira Blazek, Adam Weinert
"The one that [was] the most successful in parodying this premise—Ryan McNamara’s pushcart heaped with “flaming merch” (false noses, glitter encrusted lobster crackers in the shape of a claw), accompanied by a speculative video that seems to reimagine Smith as a photographer of weddings and bar mitzvahs."
-J. Hoberman, Artforum
Rene Rivera, David Kratzner, Mario Montez