Greg SmithBreakdown Lane
January 21 – May 7, 2017
Greg Smith is a multidisciplinary artist whose work often involves the “artifice mechanic.” A skilled engineer attempting to give structure to his environment, but also a flamboyant performer, he is prone to excesses and at times haplessness. Smith has a PhD in Physics, and indeed his work explores the big questions of our experience. Breakdown Lane (2013) functions as both an exploration, and upending, of the archetypal journey of escapism and independence inherent to the road movie genre, and as a reflection on the video medium itself.
Throughout the absurd narrative, the mechanic (played by Smith) rigorously attempts to maneuver his improbable automobile. The horizon line is referenced throughout the video and the accompanying installation of hand-stitched textiles–even the mechanic’s ruff acts as a makeshift horizon. It is the unattainable destination, highlighting the importance of the journey. As the car continues to breakdown, the mechanic uses video probes to persist in the journey, sending a video stream back to the car’s command center. Here, Smith presents us with the question of how video allow us to experience the world around us.
Greg Smith earned a PhD in Physics from Harvard University and an MFA from Hunter College. He has exhibited widely, at institutions including Artists Space, New York; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio; and Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro. He received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013. Smith currently resides in New York City.