Count on Sala Diaz to transmogrify its small space to suit each of its exhibitions. Maybe its institutional power lies in forcing its exhibiting artists to think inside the box, that little wooden house with its two gallery rooms, and to change it up — witness Katie Pell’s recent Intractable Chatter installation, a two-room, wood-enclosed, camera-observed maze which hit the viewer with such disorienting force and subversive joy at the exhibition opening that grown peeps engaged in antics like removing their shoes to waggle them above the top of the maze at camera level, like somebody walking upside down through it (hey, Anne Wallace).
How Sala D’s gonna tranform into a cinema for its CAM offering, I’m Lying, I Promise, we don’t know. But the show, er, showcases the film work of highly regarded AND highly entertaining limey bastard auteur John Smith. Smith’s perhaps most famous for his hilarious, influential brainteaser of a short, The Girl Chewing Gum (1976) — which you can view, in part, at johnsmithfilms.com — wherein the actions taking place in a typical midday London street scene are seemingly “directed” by an offscreen voice, who’s soon revealed to be narrating in real time rather than directing the scene. A film included in the most recent “Sam’s Video Jam” (an excellent free monthly video art series), “Lost Sound,” is Smith’s 1998-2001 collaboration with sound installation artist and composer Graeme Miller. It’s 28 minutes of grim street shots, ambient sound, and tendrils of audiotape twining about a stand of weeds, or blown against a gate. And it’s fascinating. No kidding. The opening of this show will have happened at press time, but you can still catch the three different 90-minute programs throughout the month. — Sarah Fisch