“When most I wink, then do my eyes best see.” So erudite singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright (son to Loudon, brother to Martha) cites Shakespeare’s sonnets as he rhapsodizes about his collaboration with Douglas Gordon, the darkly inventive Scottish film artist responsible for the super slo-mo Hitchcock tribute 24 Hour Psycho and epic football film Zidane (featuring music from Glasgow’s foremost post-rockers Mogwai). The duo conspired to produce these haunting visuals, in which Wainwright flutters his kohl-splashed eye for a camera shooting at 1,000 frames per second, after his partner Jörn Weisbrodt (creative director at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center) suggested they work together. The film, initially designed to accompany Wainwright’s 2010 album All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, was inspired by the record’s titular temptress—first immortalized in the plays of Frank Wedekind, now a personal symbol for Wainwright—but soon “dissolved and disintegrated,” he says, leaving only his eye slowly blinking in a sea of blackness. “It’s become very simple and very, very powerful and tragic also,” says Wainwright, who felt an instant connection with Gordon when they first met several years ago. “He has this strange immediacy and blunt honesty that instantly endears you to him. He really sees through whatever’s going on, to your core. And I definitely had that experience with him.”
December 12, 2014
making eyes: douglas gordon
Douglas Gordon and Rufus Wainwright collaborated to produce afflictive, slow-motion projections to accompany Wainwright’s performances during his 2010 All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu tour. The clip below, Sonnet 10, is one of twelve works that played on stage. Nowness reported on the collaboration leading up to the global tour.
Katrina Brown discusses the importance of Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho (1993) and some of the films that followed, touching on threads that run throughout the artist’s career.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2018
The Spring 2018 Gagosian Quarterly with a cover by Ed Ruscha is now available for order.
Douglas Gordon: I had nowhere to go
Featuring an extensive interview with Douglas Gordon on the process of making his 2016 film I had nowhere to go: Portrait of a displaced person, this video, produced by Berlin Art Link, includes clips of Jonas Mekas and revealing anecdotes about the creation of the film.
Douglas Gordon and Morgane Tschiember
Douglas Gordon and Morgane Tschiember’s installation As close as you can for as long as it lasts, presented during Elevation 1049: Avalanche in Gstaad, Switzerland.
River Girl, Outer World
A short story by t. jahan, published here on the occasion of the Quarterly’s collaboration with PEN America.
Out of the Darkness
A short story by Mathapelo Mofokeng, published here on the occasion of the Quarterly’s collaboration with PEN America.
Cannes Film Festival 2021
Carlos Valladares shares his early look at five of this year’s standout films.
Hao Liang: To Forge the Chain of Being
Fan Jingzhong analyzes the classical concepts and references in Hao Liang’s paintings.
Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor
Thierry Greub tracks the literary references in Cy Twombly’s epic painting of 1994.
The Art of Biography: Sir John Richardson’s “The Minotaur Years”
Pepe Karmel celebrates the release of A Life of Picasso IV: The Minotaur Years, 1933–1943, the final installment of Sir John Richardson’s magisterial biography.
Social Works II: Tyler Mitchell | A New Landscape
Tyler Mitchell speaks with Antwaun Sargent about Black representation, the diversity of Southern landscapes, and the importance of play in his new series of photographs. The conversation forms part of “Social Works II,” a supplement guest edited by Sargent for the Winter 2021 issue of the Quarterly.
The San Francisco Art Institute: Its History and Future
Constance Lewallen marks the 150th anniversary of the San Francisco Art Institute, exploring the school’s evolution and pioneering faculty, as well as current challenges and the innovations necessary for its preservation.