Bob & Roberta Smith
Bob and Roberta Smith live and work in London. Past shows at Hales
have involved performances, a large installation made with personalised
signs on scrap materials and wall based paintings on wooden panels.
Smith’s DIY approach appropriates the languages of folk, punk and the
alternative protest movements to personalise political sloganeering.
Smith’s work cannot be reduced to one genre. Often it takes the shape
of hobbies; music, cooking or DIY which is then combined with a
subversive humour. Bob and Roberta Smith attempt to demolish
established values and respected authorities and like most humour it is
to do with humiliation. Smith challenges the orthodoxies that you are
taught at school and which he believes beats the creativity out of you.
Bob and Roberta Smith thinks it’s moral to be absurd and that embracing
absurd things is somehow an area of sanity. Much of the work manifests
itself in performance, with strong ideas of participation or of the
participatory positions similar to those used by the Fluxus in the 1960s.
What is love?
Who are you? And what do you do for a living?
I am Bob. I am an Artist
Do you trust yourself?
Who did you spend last night with?
Were you a popular child?
Yes, extremely. I was a bit like Noel Coward.
Telling jokes, everybody laughing
What do you like most about fame and success?
Do you scare easy?
Almost never. I am very good under fire
What work of art makes the most sense to you?
Art must never make sense. Art that makes
sense is very very boring
Which public space do you like best?
Ground Zero. It’s so tragic. I hope they
never build on it
Which private space do you like best?
The Leytonstone Center for Contemporary Art.
It’s a shed in our garden
If a tree falls down in a wood but no-one is
there to hear it does it make a noise?
The important question is ,Would anyone care?
What else do you like about fame and success?
What was the first thing you made, participated in,
that you are really proud of?
What do you do for fun?
What have you eaten today?
Kippers for breakfast; lunch with my art dealer,
braised steak followed by rice pudding and figs;
for dinner an early pheasant with bread sauce
sent down to us from a friend who owns a moor
in North Yorkshire
What one thing would improve the quality of
A more central location, however the common
is convenient for walking the dogs.
What do you predict?
What is your number one priority?
Avoiding tiresome people, not working for others
Who do you most like to talk shop with?
Paul Hedge of Hales Gallery. We both like food,
poetics and Politics
What is the key to life?
Food and Art
What is the best thing money has bought you?
A villa in Siena
What are you wearing?
What two colours should never be seen?
Black worn with black
What is your principal defect?
To be pleasant to complete idiots
What is your most marked characteristic?
My long elegant nose
What quality do you most like in man?
I don’t like men much but cufflinks are good
What quality do you most like in woman?
Please describe the space you are in, or the
view from your window?
Our Library. Wood Panels, aspidistras
What is your favourite machine?
The central heating pump
What is the best bit of advice you can give to
someone who wants to succeed?
Never ever work for someone else. Get a self-
employment number from the tax man
When is the right time to stop?
Keep on till you drop.