“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.
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.
Edmund de Waal: white island
Edmund de Waal considers Ibiza, Walter Benjamin, and the “aura of things” in a text entitled white island, written to accompany his first exhibition in Spain at the Museu d’Art Contemporani d’Eivissa, Ibiza.
Y.Z. Kami: Behind the Vanishing Point
Blaise Pascal, the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher, served as a crucial inspiration for Y.Z. Kami’s newest body of work. Angela Brown examines Pascal’s ideas and their relevance to these portraits and Dome paintings.
Nobuo Tsuji vs. Takashi Murakami
From 2009–11 the eminent art historian Nobuo Tsuji and Takashi Murakami engaged in a reimagined e-awase (painting contest). In this twenty-one-round contest, newly published in Battle Royale! Japanese Art History, Tsuji selects historical works and Murakami responds creatively. Round 6 centers on the Edo Eccentric painter Soga Shōhaku and his monumental Dragon and Clouds (1763).
Ed Ruscha and Joanne Northrup
Ed Ruscha sat down with JoAnne Northrup of the Nevada Museum of Art to discuss the exhibition Unsettled, which the two co-curated.
King of the Jungle
Walton Ford’s most recent paintings focus on the history of California through fantastical interpretations of humanity and its encounters with animal life.
Alexander Wolf discusses the recurring themes and symbols that have emerged throughout Robert Therrien’s artistic career.
Solid Recollections: Rachel Whiteread
James Lawrence explores the quiet power and critical role of memory in Rachel Whiteread’s public works.
St. Kit of New York: Part 4
The final installment of a short story in four parts by Christopher Bollen.
Self-Reflections: Roe Ethridge Innocence II
Angela Brown considers the wide-ranging photographs included in Roe Ethridge: Innocence II.
Drawing is a First Date
John Currin speaks about drawing with Brett Littman, Director of The Drawing Center in New York.