Stephanie Bickford-Smith

For the residence in ARCUS

The intention of my work is to explore moral and ethical boundaries facing people in a divided society whilst maintaining a balance between science and humour.
During my time with ARCUS I am exploring spaces around nationalism and migration by conducting a social experiment to try and become Japanese through first hand observations and interactions. During my stay with ARCUS I hope to learn about Japan through the community of Moriya and to embrace the influences of my surroundings.

Born in Helston, UK in 1989. Lives and works in Hertfordshire, UK.
Stephanie Bickford-Smith obtained an M.A. in Design Interactions at Royal College of Art, London in 2014. Her major exhibitions include “Always Print The Myth” (Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2015), “The Party” (Villa Croce Contemporary Art Museum, Genoa, Italy, 2014), and “Buy Buy Buy, Sell” (Royal College of Art, London, 2014).
Bickford-Smith creates performances and video works that examine how people seek a role in contemporary society through work and occasions for employment, as well as the difficulty of achieving a particular ideal. Using such methods as interviews, selfies, action pattern analysis and diagramming, and categorization and display of collected items, she herself becomes a hotel room cleaner and undertakes undercover investigations. Confronting the incongruity between ideal and reality, she relates her experiences. Bickford-Smith is a distinctive young artist creating humorous video works that question the boundaries of virtue and reason in society.

“Opportunities in the Margins” (2014) is a highly polished work Bickford-smith produced on the basis of video she took while working incognito for two months as a food delivery person and hotel room cleaner in downtown London. We found it to hold strong appeal for the viewer. Her other video works, as well, although initially appearing like sarcastically humorous self-taken documentaries and take-offs on reality television, in fact convey an objective observation and analysis of her social environment. While working earnestly, on the premise of people’s struggle and inability to understand others and adapt to their environment, she converts hardship to humour using a pleasing, witty style. For ARCUS she proposes to “become a Japanese person,” and we look forward to seeing how she will develop this concept.

Shihoko Iida

Selected WorksShow Image

Resident Artists 2015

Timoteus Anggawan Kusno  <Indonesia>

Stephanie Bickford-Smith  <UK>

Eduardo Cachucho  <South Africa>