John Smith
‘The Girl Chewing Gum’, 1976
16mm film, black and white, sound, 12 mins
Edition of 5 + 2 AP

"In ‘The Girl Chewing Gum’ a commanding voiceover appears to direct the action in a busy London street. As the instructions become more absurd and fantasized, we realize that the supposed director (not the shot) is fictional; he only describes—not
prescribes—the events that take place before him. Smith embraced the ‘spectre of narrative’ (suppressed by structural film) to play word against picture and chance against order. Sharp and direct, the film anticipates the more elaborate scenarios to come: witty, many-layered, punning, but also seriously and poetically haunted by drama’s ineradicable ghost.
" - A.L. Rees, A Directory of British Film and Video Artists, 1996