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Douglas Gordon

"Douglas Gordon: back and forth and forth and back" Installation view at Gagosian West 21st Street, New York Artwork © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017. Psycho, 1960, USA. Directed and Produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Distributed by Paramount Pictures © Universal City Studios

"Douglas Gordon: back and forth and forth and back" Installation view at Gagosian West 21st Street, New York Artwork © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017. Psycho, 1960, USA. Directed and Produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Distributed by Paramount Pictures © Universal City Studios

Douglas Gordon I had nowhere to go: Portrait of a displaced person, 2016 Super 8 film and video transferred to digital video, color and black, sound, 97 min. Artwork © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst,Bonn 2017 Film still courtesy moneypenny and olddognewtricks gmbh

Douglas Gordon I had nowhere to go: Portrait of a displaced person, 2016

Super 8 film and video transferred to digital video, color and black, sound, 97 min. Artwork © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst,Bonn 2017 Film still courtesy moneypenny and olddognewtricks gmbh

Douglas Gordon, Exhibit D, 2016 Carrara marble, 6 11/16 × 4 5/16 × 3 9/16 inches (17 × 11 × 9 cm)© Studio lost but found / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo by Studio lost but found / Katharina Kiebacher

Douglas Gordon, Exhibit D, 2016

Carrara marble, 6 11/16 × 4 5/16 × 3 9/16 inches (17 × 11 × 9 cm)
© Studio lost but found / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo by Studio lost but found / Katharina Kiebacher

Douglas Gordon, ghosts, 2013 Enamel spray on paint on aluminum, 59 1/16 × 78 ¾ inches (150 × 200 cm)© lost but found

Douglas Gordon, ghosts, 2013

Enamel spray on paint on aluminum, 59 1/16 × 78 ¾ inches (150 × 200 cm)
© lost but found

Douglas Gordon, Henry Rebel, 2011 Video installation, two HD video projections, sound, 93 min, looped, Dimensions variable, edition of 3. Installation at the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt© lost but found

Douglas Gordon, Henry Rebel, 2011

Video installation, two HD video projections, sound, 93 min, looped, Dimensions variable, edition of 3. Installation at the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
© lost but found

Douglas Gordon, Phantom, 2011 Video installation: a stage, a screen, a burnt steinway piano, a black steinway piano and a monitor, Dimensions variable, edition of 3© lost but found

Douglas Gordon, Phantom, 2011

Video installation: a stage, a screen, a burnt steinway piano, a black steinway piano and a monitor, Dimensions variable, edition of 3
© lost but found

Douglas Gordon, Tryst between RWF and AR via RAG, 2008 Red and white neon, Plexiglas, aluminum, cables and transformer, 118 ⅛ × 49 3/16 × 15 11/16 inches (300 × 125 × 40 cm), edition of 6© lost but found

Douglas Gordon, Tryst between RWF and AR via RAG, 2008

Red and white neon, Plexiglas, aluminum, cables and transformer, 118 ⅛ × 49 3/16 × 15 11/16 inches (300 × 125 × 40 cm), edition of 6
© lost but found

Douglas Gordon, Self Portrait of You + Me (Jackie smiling II), 2008 Burned print, smoke and mirror, 45 ⅜ × 36 13/16 inches (115.2 × 93.5 cm)© lost but found

Douglas Gordon, Self Portrait of You + Me (Jackie smiling II), 2008

Burned print, smoke and mirror, 45 ⅜ × 36 13/16 inches (115.2 × 93.5 cm)
© lost but found

About

If you want to find the truth in something, take it apart piece by piece, then put it back together with the detail of a forensic scientist. 
—Douglas Gordon

Working across mediums and disciplines, Douglas Gordon investigates moral and ethical questions, mental and physical states, as well as collective memory and selfhood. Using literature, folklore, and iconic Hollywood films in addition to his own footage, drawings, and writings, he distorts time and language in order to disorient and challenge.

Gordon was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and studied sculpture and environmental art at the Glasgow School of Art (1984–88). After graduating, he attended the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1988–90), where he began to more deeply explore his interests in cinema and film. In 1990 he returned to Glasgow and became involved with Transmission Gallery, an artist-run space that hosted exhibitions and served as a studio and social hub. Two years later Gordon presented 24 Hour Psycho (1993) at Tramway, Glasgow. The work extends the duration of Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho (1960) from its original 110 minutes to 24 hours; the manipulated footage was played on a large hanging screen in a dark room, which allowed visitors to view the projection from the front or the back.

In the mid-1990s Gordon moved to Cologne, Germany, where he developed From God to Nothing (1996), a text piece spanning four walls; Three Inches Black (1997), a series of photographs in which three-inches of a finger are tattooed black—the subtext in this case being that three inches is the vital length a blade would need to be to inflict a fatal wound; and Between Darkness and Light (after William Blake) (1997), a large-scale video installation that pairs a film about divine revelation with another about satanic possession.

Many have attributed Gordon’s ongoing engagement with opposites to his interest in Scottish literary history, in which the tension between good and evil is a predominant theme. In Tale of a Justified Sinner (1995) he makes direct reference to Robert Louis Stevenson’s iconic novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) by adapting scenes from a 1932 film version of the story. The scenes are mirrored and slowed down, and switch back and forth between positive and negative in order to emphasize the character’s shifting personalities. In Déjà-Vu (2000), composed of footage from Rudolph Maté’s noir D.O.A. (1949), the protagonist shifts between life and death through a series of overlapping flashbacks and temporal divergences.

In 2000 Gordon had his first survey exhibition in the United Kingdom, Black Spot, at Tate Liverpool. The show brought together major works, displayed in a sprawling configuration devised by the artist, that spread from the museum’s top floor to the freight elevator to a location outside. In the following years, Pretty much every film or video work from about 1992 until now, a nearly comprehensive exhibition of Gordon’s film and video work, was shown in various international locations, including the British School at Rome; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. A retrospective of Gordon’s work opened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2006, presenting thirteen significant films; and Pretty much every word written, spoken, heard, overheard from 1989 . . . , an installation of more than eighty text-based works, opened at Tate Britain, London, in 2010. Two years later Gordon was named a Commandeur dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic.

Themes of identity, the image of the self, portraits, and mortality continue in Gordon’s more recent sculptures, text works, and film and video works. When the Scottish National Portrait Gallery invited him to create a portrait work for the International Festival in 2017, his response was to make a doppelgänger of their celebrated marble statue of the iconic Scottish poet Robert Burns. Black Burns (2017) is an exact replica of the statue in black marble (instead of white Carrara), which Gordon shattered into a few pieces and placed at the foot of the Victorian original. In a related series of sculptures, Gordon depicted parts of his hands and forearms in embracing positions that can be read as either innocent or sinister, expressing the psychological battles at play within an individual.

I had nowhere to go: Portrait of a displaced person (2016), a filmic portrait of Jonas Mekas, godfather of American avant-garde cinema, premiered at Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel in 2017. The following year, Gordon was commissioned to create a work for the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road, London. In Non-Stop (2018) Gordon’s eye opens and closes slowly, the retina reflecting a series of single words extracted from signs, names, and places around the Soho area, where he lived in the late 1980s. The eye thus seems to be reflecting, literally and metaphorically, on the Soho that was once known for its nightlife, media culture, grass roots music venues, and underground performance.

Douglas Gordon

Photo: Colin Davison/Bridgeman Images

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Douglas Gordon’s hand alongside a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti at Institut Giacometti, Paris. Artwork © Succession Giacometti. Photo: Thomas Gangnet

Partnership

Douglas Gordon and
Institut Giacometti

The exhibition Douglas Gordon: The Morning After was scheduled to open at the Giacometti Institute in Paris on April 24, 2020, placing original works by Gordon side by side with those of Alberto Giacometti. Unfortunately, owing to the covid-19 crisis, the exhibition had to be delayed for a year. As a result, the institution has invited Douglas Gordon to collaborate on several activities from April 2020 through April 2021. This unprecedented partnership, the institute’s first with a contemporary artist, will variously take the form of impromptu interventions, disseminations, exchanges, and meetings on the foundation’s website and in the spaces of the institute and its partners.

Douglas Gordon’s hand alongside a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti at Institut Giacometti, Paris. Artwork © Succession Giacometti. Photo: Thomas Gangnet

Adam McEwen, Escape from New York, 2014 (still from “Battery Tunnel”) © Adam McEwen

Online Exhibition

Broadcast
Alternate Meanings in Film and Video

You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind.
—Timothy Leary

Gagosian is pleased to present Broadcast: Alternate Meanings in Film and Video, an online exhibition of artists’ films and videos viewable exclusively on gagosian.com. The exhibition will be organized into a series of “chapters,” each lasting two weeks. The first chapter begins on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Broadcast: Alternate Meanings in Film and Video employs the innate immediacy of time-based art to spark reflection on the here and now, taking the words of famed psychologist and countercultural icon Timothy Leary as its starting point. 

Adam McEwen, Escape from New York, 2014 (still from “Battery Tunnel”) © Adam McEwen

The Extreme Present

Exhibition

The Extreme Present

Opening reception: Tuesday, December 3, 5–8pm
December 4–8, 2019
Moore Building, Miami

Gagosian is pleased to announce The Extreme Present, the fifth in a series of annual exhibitions at the Moore Building in the Miami Design District during Art Basel Miami Beach, presented by Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch. The Extreme Present will explore artists’ reactions to the conditions of our accelerating and increasingly complex world. The title is inspired by The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, a book by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, published in 2015. Their provocative thesis addresses the rapidly evolving digital era, half a century after Marshall McLuhan’s groundbreaking study on technology’s influence on culture, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, in which he coined the phrase “the medium is the message.” Works in this exhibition explore concepts of media, communication, togetherness, and isolation.

Download the full press release (PDF)

The Extreme Present

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Museum Exhibitions

Installation view, Dyr i kunsten, Arken Museum, Ishoj, Denmark, May 26, 2020–January 10, 2021. Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2020. Photo: David Stjernholm

On View

Dyr i kunsten

Through January 10, 2021
Arken Museum, Ishoj, Denmark
uk.arken.dk

Dyr i kunsten, or Animals in Art, features sculpture, installations, video, photography, and paintings by a wide array of international artists whose work explores the ways that humans study, categorize, live with, and use animals and how we thus attempt to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. Work by Douglas Gordon, Damien Hirst, and Carsten Höller is included.

Installation view, Dyr i kunsten, Arken Museum, Ishoj, Denmark, May 26, 2020–January 10, 2021. Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2020. Photo: David Stjernholm

Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, 2006, installation view, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark. Artwork © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020 and © Philippe Parreno. Photo: Kim Hansen

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Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno
Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

June 23–August 16, 2020
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark
www.louisiana.dk

Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (2006), a film collaboration by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, is screening outdoors as part of Summer at Louisiana. Shot on seventeen synchronized cameras, Zidane frames the movements of footballer Zinédine Zidane in real time over the course of a single match between Real Madrid and Villarreal at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on April 23, 2005.

Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, 2006, installation view, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark. Artwork © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020 and © Philippe Parreno. Photo: Kim Hansen

Cindy Sherman, Untitled (#93), 1981, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo © Cindy Sherman. Photo: courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

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The Cindy Sherman Effect
Identität und Transformation in der zeitgenössischen Kunst

January 29–July 19, 2020
Kunstforum Wien, Vienna
www.kunstforumwien.at

Cindy Sherman’s work has long questioned issues of identity, including the ways in which it can be constructed and transformed, and elements of fiction. The exhibition, whose title translates to Identity and Transformation in Contemporary Art, juxtaposes Sherman’s work with that of other contemporary artists, including Douglas Gordon, working in a variety of media.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled (#93), 1981, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo © Cindy Sherman. Photo: courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

Douglas Gordon, 24 Hour Psycho, 1993 © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020. Photo: Bert Ross. Psycho (1960), USA. Directed and Produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Distributed by Paramount Pictures. © Universal City Studios

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Douglas Gordon in
Time Machine: Vedere e sperimentare il tempo

January 11–May 3, 2020
Palazzo del Governatore, Parma, Italy
parma2020.it

Time Machine: To See and to Experiment the Time is a reflection on how cinema and other media based on moving images have transformed our perception of time throughout history. Work by Douglas Gordon is included.

Douglas Gordon, 24 Hour Psycho, 1993 © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020. Photo: Bert Ross. Psycho (1960), USA. Directed and Produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Distributed by Paramount Pictures. © Universal City Studios

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Press

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