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Douglas Gordon

Phantom

December 11, 2014–January 17, 2015
Park & 75, New York

Installation view Artwork © lost but found. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © lost but found. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © lost but found. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © lost but found. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © lost but found. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © lost but found. Photo: Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Douglas Gordon, Phantom, 2011 (still) 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 (still)

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. Photo: Katharina Kiebacher

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. Photo: Katharina Kiebacher

About

I think it’s supposed to be about provoking enough of a memory that people take it away and do their own thing with it. For me, artwork . . . is something that you should be able to take away—you don’t have to be present in front of it, and that’s the potency of the artwork when it works.
—Douglas Gordon

Gagosian New York is pleased to present Douglas Gordon’s Phantom (2011), coinciding with tears become . . . streams become . . ., his large-scale installation on view at the Park Avenue Armory from December 9, 2014, through January 4, 2015.

A conjurer of collective memory and perceptual surprise, Gordon infuses a combination of humor and trepidation into his diverse body of work—which spans video and film, sound, photographic objects, and texts—to recalibrate reactions to the familiar. Key examples include 24 Hour Psycho (1993), in which he slowed down Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary film into a full day’s duration, attenuating the horror until any sensation of suspense ceased to exist; and the feature film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (2006, with Philippe Parreno), in which multiple cameras tracked every action and emotion of the French soccer star during a decisive game.

In Phantom (2011), Gordon, collaborating with singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, examines grief and longing in a sonic and visual requiem. Expanding upon his use of portraiture as a tool for investigating the human condition, Gordon employs slow-motion film produced with a high-speed Phantom camera. The film focuses on Wainright’s eye—blackened with makeup, weeping, and glaring back at the viewer, echoing melodramatic performances by stars of the silent screen. Onstage in front of the screen, a baby grand piano stands over another piano that has been burnt to ashes—a recurring symbol for Gordon that here might allude to the cyclical nature of life. Meanwhile, Wainright’s voice, accompanied by resigned piano chords, permeates the space during the daytime, while in the evening his silent gaze looks out plaintively at passersby on Park Avenue. The death of Wainwright’s mother inspired the 2010 album All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, the soundtrack for this installation, and its opening track, “Who Are You New York?,” is a direct engagement with visitors and their surroundings. Gordon forgoes any specific narrative in favour of poignant emotional triggers that sharpen over the passing minutes, transforming the gallery into an afflictive mise-en-scène that resonates differently with the experiences of each viewer.

Gordon’s major new installation, tears become . . . streams become . . ., will be on view at the Park Avenue Armory from December 9, 2014, through January 4, 2015. Ten collaborative performances by acclaimed pianist Hélène Grimaud are scheduled through December 21.