Despair

2009
Country: UK
Duration: 18 mins
Colour: Colour
Available Format/s: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file
Themes: 
  • Medium and materials
  • Narrative

Glasgow-based artist Stephen Sutcliffes film Despair (2009) is inspired by and titled after the 1934 Vladimir Nabokov novel, a story of mistaken physical resemblance, murder and identity theft. Nabokovs themes of power and delusion, doubling and gameplay are anchored in Sutcliffes collage through a prismatic treatment of visual material and sound.

Sutcliffe quotes a parade of society portraits, photocopied handouts from a lecture series entitled Theories of Montage, and Rainer Werner Fassbinders 1978 adaptation of the novel in a dense sequence punctuated by baroque music composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully for the seventeenth century French king, Louis XIV.

There is something predatory about the use of the moving image in the work of Stephen Sutcliffe – it is both determined and persistent. Gestures and movements, cultural legacies and histories are carefully observed, identified and cut-up. Severing with surgical precision, and splicing words and images together to present a mood or attitude, Sutcliffe reaches into the archive and pulls out his version of its heart. Mark Beasley

  ,

More works by Stephen Sutcliffe

UK
, 2007
1 Minutes

We’d love to hear from you

If you would like to speak to a member of our team, please get in touch

VISIT US

LUX, Waterlow Park Centre,
Dartmouth Park Hill, London, N19 5JF, UK

Telephone: +44 (0)20 3141 2960

Sign up to our newswire to stay up to date with everything LUX

LUX is a registered charity and not-for-profit company limited by guarantee:

Company No: 4421812
VAT No: 795 9063 73
Charity No: 1094936

Artis Council Supported Logo

© 2021 LUX. All rights reserved.

Skip to content