Susan Inglett Gallery, New York, NY
Drawing from his studies in physics, Greg Smith makes videos where he plays an “artifice mechanic,” described by the artist as “a guy who’s trying to create something, trying to structure his environment, but who’s also kind of hapless, and, in the end, probably doomed.” Filling the gallery with handmade objects and contraptions, Smith has made qualified proposals for the asterisk, and later the beard, as the basic atom for everything worth thinking about. He has tested the limitations of his selected building blocks, for example their inability to approach topics as disparate as Jonestown, anxiety, shoes, or press conferences. Further exploring failure, Smith’s film BREAKDOWN LANE (2014) follows a dystopian road trip documented using a series of hand-made and modified cameras. Typical to the genre, the hero sets off for a better life just over the Horizon, meeting challenges and obstacles along the way, most of his own invention. While the journey begins with a traditional sense of expansion and promise things quickly breakdown. The protagonist continues doggedly on, first traveling in the highway’s breakdown lane and finally relegating forward motion to remote control probes sending video feedback to his disabled car. Most road movies come to a disappointing end. Typical of Smith, this one begins in disappointment yet the hero refuses to accept the inevitable.
Smith has had solo exhibitions at White Columns in New York, Cress Gallery of Art at University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College in Iowa. His work has been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, and Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill. This includes film screenings at the Museum of Modern Art and Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn. Smith is the recipient of a John Guggenheim Fellowship, a Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant, and a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Art Grant.
Courtesy of Susan Inglett Gallery