Curated by Michelle Cotton
Saturday 21 November 2009 to Sunday 10 January 2010
Stephen Sutcliffe’s work draws upon a personal archive of broadcast material and printed ephemera. Recordings made from the television or radio, clippings from newspapers or books are run together to contradict each other or find an unlikely common ground. His short films often employ several sources simultaneously, obscuring part of the footage or layering soundtracks to undermine the integrity of the original and instill a notion of doubt.
Public figures become linked by biographical detail or anecdote. Diverse genres find association in the character of their language or motifs. Sutcliffe fragments sound and imagery, making slight, often imperceptible edits and disrupting linear progression. His work operates as collage; acting upon an array of information, brokering strange marriages and revealing traits of neuroses in its raw material.
For his solo exhibition at Cubitt, Sutcliffe has developed a multi-channel video piece that will be shown alongside a series of wall drawings based upon comic illustrations collected from books and magazines.
Stephen Sutcliffe was born in Harrogate in 1968 and studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee and Glasgow School of Art. Previous exhibitions in London include Nought to Sixty at ICA, Ritual in the Dark (with Alan Michael) at Hotel (both 2008) and Tate Art Now: Lightbox (2005) other recent projects include a solo presentation with Galerie Micky Schubert at Frieze (2009). Sutcliffe is based in Glasgow.
Screening of Despair (2009)
Wednesday 9 December 6.30pm, Tate Modern Starr Auditorium
Recently completed and the most ambitious of Sutcliffe’s works to date, Despair, is inspired by and titled after the 1934 Vladimir Nabokov novel, a story of mistaken physical resemblance, murder and identity theft. Sutcliffe’s film features a parade of society portraits and a sequence of photocopied handouts for lectures entitled ‘Theories of Montage‘ amongst references to Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1978 adaptation of the novel and baroque music composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully for the seventeenth century French king, Louis XIV. Nabokov’s themes of power and delusion, doubling and gameplay are anchored in a prismatic treatment of visual material and sound.
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Supported by Arts Council England and the Hope Scott Trust with the kind assistance of Timothy Taylor Gallery and FormContent.
Image credit: drawing by Alan Michael.