John Smith
'Hotel Diaries' (series), 2001-7
Video, colour, sound; Total running time 82 mins
Edition of 5 + 2 AP
SMITH-2009-0018

Made over six years in the hotels of six different countries, ‘Hotel Diaries’ is a series of video recordings which relate personal experiences to the current conflicts in the Middle East. In these works, which play upon chance and co-incidence, the hotel room is employed as a ‘found’ film set, where the architecture, furnishing and decoration become the means by which the filmmaker’s small adventures are linked to major world events.

‘Hotel Diaries’ can be screened either as a single work or as individual parts (with the exception of ‘Six Years Later’, which is only to be screened as part of the compilation).

"On October 8th 2001, a few weeks after the September 11th attack on the World Trade Centre and two days after the USA and Britain started bombing Afghanistan, I was at the Cork Film Festival in Ireland. Returning to my hotel room late at night, I switched on the television, intending to catch up on the latest news. Expecting to see a moving image, I was surprised to discover that the close-up of a man’s face that filled the screen was completely still, frozen in time. I watched the screen for several minutes but nothing changed, and the clock in the corner of the screen remained stopped at 1.41. What was happening? Why wasn’t the image moving? Worried and confused, I picked up my video camera and attempted to talk about what was going on inside my head. I had no idea at the time that this spontaneous recording was the start of a project that would occupy me for the next six years.
" - John Smith

_'Frozen War'
Ireland, October 8th 2001; 11'
_'Museum Piece'
Germany, October 14th 2004; 12'
_'Throwing Stones'
Switzerland, November 13th 2004; 11'
_'B & B'
UK, November 26th 2005; 6'
_'Pyramids / Skunk' 
Netherlands, January 29th 2006 / January 29th 2007; 16'
_'Dirty Pictures'
Palestine, April 15th / 16th 2007; 14'
_'Six Years Later'
Ireland, October 20th 2007; 9'

'Frozen War'

'Museum Piece'

'Throwing Stones'

'B&B'

‘Pyramids / Skunk’

‘Dirty Pictures’

‘Six Years Later’