John Smith: The Black Tower

In March-April 2010, students on the MA Curating Contemporary Art course at the Royal College of Art mounted a ‘Solo Show’ of the work of the British artist / film-maker John Smith.

During the exhibition, there was a screening of one of my favourite John Smith films, The Black Tower, and I was one of the speakers invited to respond to the film. I took the opportunity to return to where this enigmatic film was shot and find what had happened to the environment it depicts.

My talk that evening was brief and rather informal. The text reproduced here has been expanded and added to, but it still follows that format, and has deliberately not been worked up into a full-scale academic paper. My thanks to John Smith for providing stills from the film.

An extract from the film can be found on John Smith’s website at:

Revisiting The Black Tower

Picture for John Smith intro page