Taking a cue from Philip Larkin’s poetry collections, ‘The Less Deceived’, ‘The Whitsun Weddings’ and ‘High Windows’ Stephen Sutcliffe’s new works form a suite of short, collaged videos. These extend Sutcliffe’s longstanding obsessions with cultural confidence, social class and meditations on death and failure, and will be presented in dialogue with selected videos by the artist, spanning from the early 2000s until the present.
Sutcliffe has had an ongoing engagement with literature in his practice, a strand pushed, and also complicated in this new body of work. There are immediate affinities in tone and approach between Sutcliffe and Larkin: the attempt to render a time through the lens of private experience, and the movements between troubled realism and discontent, alongside wit and humour. Working with the format of the short-form collaged video, Sutcliffe both channels the distinctive structure and mood of his literary references and extends them into his own distinctive language and time.
High Windows, Dead Birds marks the most comprehensive presentation of the artist’s work to date, and the first in a German context, encompassing his new videos alongside retrospective elements and spatial interventions realised in dialogue with the spaces of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart.