Simon Payne has been committed to making abstract cinema for twenty years. His videos are predominantly orientated around bold graphic forms and highly structured sequences that produce unexpected colour combinations and conflicting planes. In this selection there are also sometimes contingent elements that correspond with incidental indications of the artist’s hand, but his approach to cinema is primarily objective. The systems that underpin his work engage the entirety of the screen surface and every edge, while the effect of these systems often spill out of the screen to illuminate the cinema in remarkable ways.
This DVD contains:
Cut Out (2013) 3'33", colour, stereo
NOT AND OR (2014) 18', b/w and colour, silent
Set Theory I-IV (2018), 19', b/w and colour, stereo
Cut Out involves coloured cards, with apertures, and subtle superimpositions that produce variable planes and edges. NOT AND OR invokes two types of screen space: a wholly ‘virtual’ space and the real surface of a refilmed screen, a difference that is blurred by subsequent transformations. Set Theory I-IV and Edges are two new series. Each part of Set Theory combines the same set of graphic transitions in unique combinations that operate along tonal, architectonic and colourful lines. Edges is a minimalist series that focuses on the borders of the screen. Point Line Plane is a slightly earlier piece that is configured from grids and chimes with Dziga Vertov’s constructivist exaltation: ‘Hurrah for dynamic geometry, the race of points, lines, planes, volumes!’
Simon Payne’s work has been shown in numerous film festivals and venues including: Anthology Film Archives, New York; Close-Up, London; the Pacific Film Archives, San Francisco; Scratch Projections, Paris; the Ann Arbor, Edinburgh, London and Rotterdam international film festivals; the Media City Festival, Ontario; the European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrück, the Serpentine and Whitechapel galleries in London; Tate Britain and Tate Modern; and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. He has written widely on experimental film and video and is a Reader in Film and Media at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.
A partial score for Set Theory (part IV) on a signed postcard.