Jennet Thomas

Return of the Black Tower (after John Smith)

22 June to 28 July 2007

Jennet Thomas makes hyper-bizarre narrative work that playfully combines a variety of filmic languages ranging from soap operas to experimental and underground filmmaking, and from sci-fi to musicals. Her characters seem to exist in a world where the colour balance has been adjusted to ‘bright’, and where the part of their brains that controls language has been short-circuited and the meaning of words has somehow slipped.

In her work for PEER, Thomas takes as her starting point a work by structuralist filmmaker John Smith called The Black Tower, made in 1987. Although there is a similarly dark absurdist tone and a sense of the power and fragility of the imagination that resonates in both, Smith’s protagonist is menaced by a quotidian and tangible object — the black tower near his home in east London — whereas Thomas’ characters are afflicted by an unnameable though not unwelcome controlling force.

Thomas’ film lasts approximately 15 minutes and will be shown on a continuous loop. Each Saturday at 5pm during the exhibition period, Thomas’ film will be replaced with a special screening of John Smith’s The Black Tower, which lasts approximately 25 minutes. 

Alongside the exhibition will be a 16 page, fully illustrated booklet with a text by Sally O’Reilly and stills from both films. Click here to buy a copy.

This project has been generously supported by: