Self-portrait with last cigarette 8.7.2003

Lasting only 15-seconds as an original artefact from 2003, this looped film is a document produced under the influence of the Zyban (bupropion) the anti-smoking aid that is claimed to dull creativity. Instructed by Social Services to stop smoking immediately, the artist creates this work spontaneously using the nearest device at hand, a Sony Mavica, on Tuesday 8 July 2003 at precisely 10.22pm in Canning Street, Liverpool, two doors down from the former abode of Adrian Henri.
The film is a self-fulfilling prophecy as the artist can never smoke another cigarette in his life to maintain the authenticity of the work. As a consequence, the artist enters into an agreement with each purchaser not to destroy the truth of this artwork. Self-portrait with last cigarette was exhibited once a year for the first ten years, including the assembly projects #1 exhibition curated by Crilly & Kennard during the 2004 Liverpool Biennial. The film was also shown on the BBC Big Screens in Liverpool and Manchester, with the cigarette digitally removed from each frame to adhere to advertising rules.


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