artist / participant
In 1968 the Directors Guild of America created the pseudonym Alan Smithee for directors wishing to disown potentially disastrous projects. In the intervening years, Alan Smithee has amassed one of the film and television industry’s most extensive and indistinguishable filmographies. Though the name is less common today as it once was, Alan Smithee is widely regarded as a prolific and legendary auteur, whose collection of flops made by countless filmmakers tells a story of disavowal, shame, the ambivalences of anonymity, and the cultivation of public personae. Mexico City-based artist Mario Garcia Torres’s one-act monologue, written as Smithee’s imagined tell-all, casts the fictitious director as a central protagonist in a new single-channel video. Performed by an actor whose delivery aims to embody the internal struggles of a faceless character, and filmed using a visual vocabulary inherited from professional keynote lectures, motivational speeches, and the now ubiquitous TED talk, Garcia Torres’s video speculates on Smithee’s fraught biography and explores the complex relationship between artistic work and its audiences. Hammer Projects: Mario Garcia Torres is organized by Hammer curator Aram Moshayedi.