“The unusual Red cardigan was an exhibition based around the discovery I had made of somebody trying to sell a second hand VHS tape of my films on eBay. I’d discovered through ego surfing, googling myself. The tape was going for £100, which seemed like a lot to me for a clapped out videotape! This was pretty recently, so it was already long obsolete. So I became curious about the seller, and I’d never bought anything on eBay before, but I wanted to investigate and find out as much as I could about the character of this person. I could see their name, and the town in which they lived, but their name was an online alias – ‘Serenporfor’. I wondered if it might be an anagram, for someone called Rose Pronfer, or Senor F Roper, and I started making up these characters. But the main revelation was that I realised that if someone was selling other things, then you could check out what their other items were. I found that Serenporfor was selling a diverse range of other things; cheerleader pom-poms, a green rabbit fur handbag, an unusual red cardigan, after which the show was named, a Resident Evil videogame.”
John Smith in conversation with Tom Harrad1
- 1Tom Harrad, “Interview with John Smith,” The White Review, online exclusive, March 2014.