Installation view of the exhibition



Paul M Smith | Action
Jun – July 2000

Exhibition of new work by British photographer Paul M Smith

Two common threads running through Smith’s work are male identity and militarism, the latter clearly informed by Smith spending several years working as an infantry photographer for the British Forces. His photos are especially poignant now as, after decades of feminist scholarship on women and femininity, male roles and masculinity are being reconsidered.

The new series entitled Action
is more overtly playful and theatrical than any of Smith’s earlier work. Rather than referencing the horrors of combat, Smith’s re-enactments confer a sense of excitement, adventure and suspense. The photos seem like stills from a James Bond film or adult fantasies of Action Man scenarios. The sense of suspense is heightened by the dramatic display of the photos from light boxes on the ceiling.