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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

Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris

Visit

Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées

Opening reception: Saturday, October 12, 6:30–8pm
October 12–20, 2019
Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris
galerieslafayettechampselysees.com

In celebration of FIAC in Paris, Gagosian is pleased to collaborate with Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées on a two-floor pop-up takeover featuring products related to Gagosian artists. On the first floor, the Coin Culture section will feature catalogues, posters, apparel, and audio productions. The second floor, the Library, will house an additional selection of limited-edition books, publications, and catalogues raisonnés.

Download the full press release in English (PDF) or French (PDF)

Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris

Douglas Gordon, I had nowhere to go: Portrait of a displaced person, 2016 (still) © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

In Conversation

Douglas Gordon, Michel Auder, Lolita Jablonskienė

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 5–6pm
Messe Basel
artbasel.com/basel

Douglas Gordon will speak with photographer Michel Auder and art critic Lolita Jablonskienė on the life and legacy of Jonas Mekas, the “godfather of avant-garde film.” All three speakers were friends and admirers of Mekas. Gordon’s 2016 film I had nowhere to go: Portrait of a displaced person incorporates one minute of real-time footage per year of Mekas’s momentous life, covering his departure from his native Lithuania, to his time in forced-labor camps and a displaced persons’ center during World War II, to his eventual arrival in New York, and beyond. The discussion, moderated by Maxa Zoller, curator of Art Basel’s Film Sector, is titled “‘Reminiscence of a Journey’—The Legacy of Jonas Mekas.” The event is free to attend.

Douglas Gordon, I had nowhere to go: Portrait of a displaced person, 2016 (still) © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Visit

Gagosian at Selfridges Corner Shop

Through March 30, 2019
Selfridges, London
www.selfridges.com

Selfridges has invited the Gagosian Shop to showcase a curated selection of items at the department store’s Corner Shop in anticipation of the unveiling of London’s new Elizabeth railway line in 2020. The pop-up features apparel by Douglas Gordon and prints by Richard Wright—both artists who will have new public installations in the Tottenham Court Road station, located close to Selfridges—and much more.

To celebrate the closing of the collaboration, Gagosian and Selfridges will host a reception at the Corner Shop in Selfridges on Thursday, March 28, from 6pm to 8pm. To attend the event, RSVP to rsvplondon@gagosian.com.

Photo: Lucy Dawkins

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Museum Exhibitions

Douglas Gordon, Psycho Hitchhiker, 1993 © Douglas Gordon/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2019

On View

Douglas Gordon in
Hey Psycho!

Through November 24, 2019
Arsenale Institute for Politics of Representation, Venice

This exhibition looks at the work of two artists, Douglas Gordon and Florian Süssmayr, who share common backgrounds in film, music, and art, independent of national interests, in the historic context of Venice. Notably, Gordon’s film installation 24 Hour Psycho (1993) is viewable from the Riva dei Sette Martiri, between the Arsenale and Giardini, day and night. The show also includes new neon and sprayed texts and sculpture by Gordon. Pink neons in the windows, visible from afar, with the words “non-stop,” reflect on the uncontrollable nature of psychosis and obsession.

Douglas Gordon, Psycho Hitchhiker, 1993 © Douglas Gordon/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2019

Douglas Gordon, Monster, 1996–97 © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

On View

Mask
In Present-Day Art

Through January 5, 2020
Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland
www.aargauerkunsthaus.ch

This exhibition explores how the subject of the mask is being addressed in contemporary art. Interest in masks among contemporary artists focuses not just on the mask as an object but also, and in particular, on its social, cultural, and political implications. Work by Theaster Gates, Douglas Gordon, and Cindy Sherman is included.

Douglas Gordon, Monster, 1996–97 © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Douglas Gordon, 
Phantom, 2011 (still) © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

On View

Douglas Gordon
In My Shadow

Through February 16, 2020
ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark
en.aros.dk

This solo presentation is one of the most extensive exhibitions of Douglas Gordon’s work in Europe to date and shows a wide selection of the artist’s most important works.

Douglas Gordon, 
Phantom, 2011 (still) © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Douglas Gordon, Feature Film, 1999 (still) © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Closed

Douglas Gordon
Feature Film

April 29–September 1, 2019
The Tanks, Tate Modern, London
www.tate.org.uk

Douglas Gordon’s Feature Film (1999) focuses intimately on the hands and facial gestures of conductor James Conlon while he conducts the orchestra of the Opéra National de Paris in performing the haunting soundtrack of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958).

Douglas Gordon, Feature Film, 1999 (still) © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

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Press

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