by John SMITH
2001-2004 / DVCAM / color / sound / 1S / 34' 54
Hotel Diaries consists of a series of video recordings made in the world's hotel rooms between 2001 and 2007, all of 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. This French subtitled tape includes the first 3 videos in the series:
Frozen War (Hotel Diaries 1)
Ireland, October 8th 2001. 11 mins.
A disorientating experience while attempting to watch the TV news in an Irish hotel room triggers a spontaneous response to the bombing of Afghanistan.
Museum Piece (Hotel Diaries 2)
Germany, October 14th 2004. 12 mins.
While the Iraq war continues, a day's sightseeing and the features of a German hotel provoke a stream of thoughts about events large and small.
Throwing Stones (Hotel Diaries 3)
Switzerland, November 13th 2004. 11 mins.
As the camera looks out through a barred window and the clock strikes four in a Swiss city, the death of Yasser Arafat provides the starting point for a journey back in time.
"...These deceptively unassuming works consist of single takes from the point of view of Smith's camcorder as he explores the nocturnal spaces of hotels he is staying in and delivers monologues on his thoughts and observations. At once politically concerned and very funny, these brilliantly structured ramblings connect the observations of his surroundings with the horror of world events in consistently surprising way." Maximilian Le Cain, Film Ireland, Magazine.
Videos in the Hotel Diaries havec won prizes at International film festivals in Cork, Geneva, Prague, Split, Lucca and Leipzig.