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Absence of Satan

George Barber
1985
4 mins Colour Video

Absence of Satan

A beautiful woman screams at something unseen off camera.

Paul Newman appears eating salad and soon the famous sequence of Paul Newman closing a car door cut with a helicopter takes place. Absence of Satan is probably one of George Barber's best Scratch works and is a deft reworking of cinematic narrative and cliché.

George Barber is one of the pioneers of Scratch Video which emerged in the UK during the mid-1980s. Scratch video makes use of found images from films and television, cutting seemingly incongruous imagery together to make a new meaning; it has been compared to the record-scratching techniques of hip-hop music, hence the name.

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