Close Up

30 May 2024: Video Visions: Stephen Littman / David Larcher


This programme is a survey of some of Stephen Littman’s videos alongside sequences from the work of David Larcher (1942-2023) that Littman has compiled. Larcher was a maverick filmmaker whose epic work includes the legendary Mare’s Tail (1969) and Monkey’s Birthday (1975). Larcher sought Littman’s advice when he moved from filmmaking to video in the early 1980s. EETC (1986) Granny’s Is (1989), vide0void (1993) and Ich Tank (1996) involved increasingly convoluted manipulations of screen space, testing the limits of cinematic expression. Littman’s videos have included highly personal imagery as well as formal and process-orientated investigations of electronic imaging. Like Larcher, he has always been keen to explore the expressive potential of the technology and push it to extremes. “Littman’s work came out of a unique moment of British video art, cross-breeding mid-1970s rigour with an avowed concern for social critique. Mass media themes – power, status, glamour – were undermined by turning mass culture’s stylised language against itself Littman’s hallmarks have been the sheer energy of his image making and strong sense of performance.” – A.L. Rees

Monkey’s Birthday, David Larcher, 1975, extract
Mother and Son, Stephen Littman, 1983, 13 min
EETCDavid Larcher, 1986, extract
The EnlightenmentStephen Littman, 1993-2016, 15 min
Granny’s IsDavid Larcher, 1989, extract
Predator Cat Selfish DivaStephen Littman, 1998, 10 min
vide0voidDavid Larcher, 1993, extract
Hypnagogic AlStephen Littman, 2021, 3 min

A Contact programme