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PRINT January 2001

Matthew Higgs

THE BRITISH ARTISTS OLIVER PAYNE (B. 1977) AND Nick Relph (b. 1979) recently achieved the rare distinction of, respectively, being failed and dissuaded from pursuing their undergraduate art studies at Kingston University. At a time when British educational institutions are actively seeking to bolster enrollment, Payne and Relph’s situation is all the more puzzling given that they are the authors of two of the most compelling works seen in London for some time: Driftwood, 1999, and House & Garage, 2000, shown simultaneously at the fig-I gallery last summer.

Payne and Relph make films that approximate the language of documentaries. Embracing wholeheartedly the dramatization of reality that the true documentarian strives but inevitably fails to avoid, Payne and Relph set about creating densely layered filmic essays that chart the ebb and flow of London’s urban and suburban malaise and bring

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