It was a lover and his lass

Country: UK
Duration: 0 mins
|50 Seconds
Sound: Stereo
Available Format/s: SD Video: Prores,
Original Format: SD Video
  • Animals
  • Art and Artists
  • Autobiography
  • Collage
  • Desire
  • Found Footage
  • Histories
  • Human Condition
  • Humour
  • Identity
  • Intimacy
  • Literature
  • Love
  • Music and sound
  • Performance
  • Television


“It was a lover and his lass” a single-channel, video collage by Stephen Sutcliffe takes its title and soundtrack from a song in Act 5, Scene 3 of William Shakespeare’s play ‘As You like It’ (c.1599). A woman sings along to a recording of the song whilst sharpening a knife. Loaded with innuendo and celebrating the promise of spring, Shakespeare’s lyric is disrupted by the sinister scraping of steel. The soundtrack is accompanied by found footage (re-rendered by Sutcliffe through a digital e-reader) of a fish tank. What could initially seem to be playful courting is in fact a fight to the death performed by a pair of Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). This work continues Sutcliffe’s interest in iconoclasm, collage, the incongruity of digital and analogue technologies and in the collision of literature and film.

More works by Stephen Sutcliffe

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