Gregg Smith is an artist and filmmaker of South African origin, based in Paris, France. His films, performances and studio work focus on the ephemeral reality of daily trajectories. Strongly influenced by the violent and dehumanizing spatial reorganization of Cape Town (his hometown), during the apartheid era, he has developed a cinematic approach to painting and performance as a means to strengthen awareness and implication in daily experience. Working with the micro-narratives and vaguely fetishistic objects (floppy paintings), Smith seeks to render an increasingly flattened and dematerialized contemporary reality, tangible, intelligent and erotic. In an early work, he initiated a day-long chain reaction by offering a rose to a stranger and then requesting permission to take another rose to person of the stranger's choice. There is a spirit of auto-derisive humour in his attempts to challenge conditions of behaviour and perception in intimate relationships, seeking ways to bump up against other frames of reference and so invite new trajectories. This attitude is central to the residency program, Very Real Time, which he has organised in Cape Town since 2003.
Following studies at the Michaelis School of Art (University of Cape Town), The Rijksakademie (Amsterdam) and Le Fresnoy (Tourcoing), his work is equally visible in contemporary art and cinema circuits. These include screenings and exhibitions at The Tate Modern (London), Videobrasil (Sao Paulo), Le Centre Pompidou (Paris), Rotterdam International Film Festival, Fundació Joan Miró (Barcelona), Le Plateau FRAC Ile-de-France (Paris), and the Dakar Biennale (Senegal). He has taught extensively in institutions, such as the Michaelis School of Art (Cape Town), ECAV (Switzerland), the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'architecture de Versailles and Paris College of Art.