“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.
Delineators: Jordan Belson and Harry Smith
Raymond Foye tracks the relationship between the two mavericks, investigating their influence on one another and their enduring legacies.
A Day in the Life of The Lightning Field
In the first of a two-part feature, John Elderfield recounts his experiences at The Lightning Field (1977), Walter De Maria’s legendary installation in New Mexico. Elderfield considers how this work requires our constantly finding and losing a sense of symmetry and order in shifting perceptions of space, scale, and distance, as the light changes throughout the day.
On Ming Smith: A Life of Magical Thinking
An interview by Nicola Vassell.
A short story by Cleyvis Natera, published here on the occasion of the Quarterly’s collaboration with pen America.
Twombly and the Poets
Anne Boyer, the inaugural winner of the Cy Twombly Award in Poetry, composes a poem in response to Twombly’s Aristaeus Mourning the Loss of His Bees (1973) and introduces a portfolio of the painter’s works accompanied by the poems that inspired them.
The Bigger Picture
Artist Persecution and Protection
Gillian Jakab explores some of the history of the persecution of artists and looks at individuals and organizations that have taken up their cause. Through interviews with groups serving artists at risk today, she illuminates pressing questions of refuge in the age of digital media, autocratic nationalism, and pandemic.
The Iconoclasts: Part 3
The third installment of a four-part story cycle by Anne Boyer.
The Iconoclasts: Part 2
The second installment of a four-part story cycle by Anne Boyer.