Stephen Sutcliffe Runaway, Success

Stephen Sutcliife, video still from Despair (2009)
5 Aug 2011 - 30 Oct 2011
Slide show: 
Goose Weather, 2010  Video (4.30 minutes)
We’ll Let You Know, 2008   Video (1 minute)
Writer-in-Residence, 2010  Video (3 minutes)
Despair, 2009  Video (18 minutes)
Untitled,  2010 Video (2.39 minutes)
1. No (after Steinberg)  2011 photograph, Untitled (after Steinberg)  2011 wall
2. Self-Portrait, with boxes (after Steinberg) 2011 photograph Runaway, Success
3. Despair  2009 video (18 minutes) Runaway, Success  Stephen Sutcliffe, Stills
4. Runaway, Success  2011  A2 poster   Runaway, Success  Stephen Sutcliffe, Stil
5.  No (after Steinberg)  2011 photograph Runaway, Success  Stephen Sutcliffe, S


Stephen Sutcliffe mines cultural history of the last fifty years, pulling out the awkwardness of the archives of culture with a tender heart. Obsessively cutting statements from literature, theatre, film and television, the artist hoards material to re-present it in juddering, cut-up videos that shine with the brightness of glimpsed moments caught unexpectedly on a late night television.

Runaway, Success is a major new exhibition including work commissioned by Stills and is curated by Lisa Le Feuvre.

New work by the artist is shown alongside ten of his videos made over the last ten years and, invited by Sutcliffe, a selection of rarely seen, but much referenced, films by the American filmmaker Gary Conklin. This Festival exhibition launches a new Stills exhibition programme strand where artists are commissioned to both make a new work and to invite points of reference into Stills’ gallery spaces.

In both the new commissions and his short videos Sutcliffe focuses on fissures of self doubt that undermine the confidence of iconic individuals, revealing their failing as the root of their power. Obsessed by autobiographies of ‘cultured’ figures, Sutcliffe seeks out the self-construction that forms these ‘cultured’ icons, and how film, music and television have come to represent high culture as an attitude that can be adopted with ease, pointing to the self-conscious pleasure that conspicuous cultural consumption brings.

In asking what culture might be, Runaway, Success asks questions of the difference between the idea of culture and culture itself, proposing that the experience of art is embedded in the way in which we understand our place in the world through culture itself.


Film Lounge is delighted to present the 'Ages of Man' a rarely seen film, produced for American television, featuring the great British actor, Sir John Gielgud.

Gielgud, performs alone, on a bare stage reciting a selection of Shakespearean soliloquies and sonnets, based on the anthology edited by George Rylands in 1939, exploring the journey of life from birth to death.

Gielgud first performed 'Ages of Man' in August 1957 at the Freemason's Hall, Edinburgh to a sold out audience during the Festival. The performance was a great success and he toured the work all over the world for the next ten years, winning a Tony Award in 1959 for 'contribution to theatre for his extraordinary insight into the writings of Shakespeare' and an Emmy award for an 'outstanding dramatic program'

Associated Events

Edinburgh Art Festival Exhibition Opening   Thursday 04 August 6pm - 8pm
Artist Talk   Friday 05 August 10am


Image Stephen Sutcliffe, video still from Despair (2009)


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