- Selected Works from the 1990's
We are pleased to present an exhibition with works by Douglas Gordon. The show assembles pieces from the 1990’s, including photography, a text work for a television monitor and a large-scale video projection.
As one of the most influential artist of his generation, Douglas Gordon’s practice spans film, video, text, sculpture, photography and sound. His diverse body of work addresses memory, perception and time through pre-existing cultural products, such as cinema, television, or other works of art. By manipulating original and appropriated material, Gordon overturns traditional uses of image and sound allowing for multiple, sometimes dark, new meanings.
Gordon alters existing footage by using repetition in various forms. Bootleg (Bigmouth) shows a silent sequence of a singer moving ecstatically in front of an audience. This bootleg, or clandestine, fan-filmed video, is looped and hints at the idea of endurance; an ongoing spectacle endlessly prolonged. In A moment’s silence (for someone close to you), a monitor’s blank screen is interrupted at brief intervals by this sentence, which then reappears in white over black. This “mournful” message is ultimately ambiguous, allowing for a moment of introspective thought.
Other techniques like splitting and doubling take place in dark mirrors and photographs through Gordon’s self-transformation. In Self-portrait as Kurt Cobain as Andy Warhol as Myra Hindley as Marilyn Monroe, the artist merges and mimics these emblematic figures by portraying himself wearing a blond wig. In Monster, 1996, he stands beside a distorted mirror-image of himself, his own face deformed by using adhesive tape. In a 2002 re-interpretation, Monster Reborn, the monstrous self-depiction appears instead on the left-hand side. Gordon often plays with minor variations between pieces, which only a close look will reveal imperfections, unfaithful reflections, and perceptive traps.
Gordon’s oeuvre appears both revolting and seductive, simultaneously sinister and erotic, which is at times further intensified by a larger subtext. In Three Inches Black, a photo-sequence of a tattooed index finger, the process of meaning is amplified when we learn that three inches is the necessary length of a weapon to inflict a fatal wound. There is thus an increased awareness of what’s perturbing about it, of what’s reversed and dark.
Douglas Gordon was born in 1966 in Glasgow, Scotland. He has had numerous museum exhibitions including ARC Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2000); Museu Serralves Contemporânea, Portugal (2000); Geffen Contemporary at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001, traveled to Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., through 2004); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2002); Deutsche Guggenheim Museum, Berlin (2005); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006, traveled to Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires—Colección Constantini, Buenos Aires, through 2007); Tate Britain, London (2010); Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (2014).
Gordon has received prestigious awards including the Turner Prize, London (1996); Premio 2000, Venice Biennale, Italy (1997); Hugo Boss Prize, Guggenheim Museum, New York (1998); Roswitha Haftmann Prize, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2008); Käthe-Kollwitz-Preis, Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2012); and Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters (2012/17). He currently lives and works in Berlin and Glasgow.