Douglas Gordon | the artist




The artist Douglas Gordon
Born 1966, Glasgow, Scotland.

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Douglas Gordon
What Have I Done, the title of Douglas Gordon’s Hayward Gallery show, was untroubled by punctuation. A question mark would have transformed it into a lunatic’s lament, a lazy guy’s sigh, a murderer’s moment of clarity. Equally, a full stop would have signalled a summation (this was, after all, a mid-career retrospective) or a pause before a new body of work, like a new sentence, appears. As it was, ‘What Have I Done’ was a strange appellation. The ‘I’ felt out of place, a fugitive character. But perhaps this should’ve come as no surprise. ‘I’ is a slippery syllable in Gordon’s art. In an exhibition that was an exercise in (albeit fractured) autobiography, it seemed even more slippery.

Douglas Gordon
Whether you’ve seen the show yet or not, let the ghosts and alter-egos that haunt what have I done tempt you with their games and tell you what they know. You will need the Flash plug-in to view this site.

Douglas Gordon
Gordon was the recipient of the 1996 Turner Prize, the 1997 Venice Biennial’s Premio 2000 award, the 1998 Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the 2008 Roswitha Haftmann Prize. His work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001); the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2006); “Timeline,” The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006), traveled to MALBA Colección Costantini, Buenos Aires (2007); “Pretty much every word written, spoken, heard, overheard from 1989…,” the MART, Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto, Italy (2006)…

Douglas Gordon
Douglas Gordon’s work embraces a wide-range of media including video, photographic, audio and text-based works. A defining feature of Gordon’s approach is an acute sensitivity to the associative power, whether actual or potential, of a particular site. In 2009, he was commissioned to create a site-specific work at Tate Britain, to be installed in the Octagon and alongside Art and the Sublime, a display of historic sublime works in the adjacent gallery. These spaces are remarkable for their austere, neo-classical grandeur, with barrel-vaulted ceilings and a central dome designed to make the gallery a ‘temple of art’. Gordon’s response was to utilize and animate the architecture itself with a complex yet cohesive installation of over eighty text-based works entitled Pretty much every word written, spoken, heard, overheard from 1989… (2010)…

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The work of Douglas Gordon revolves around a constellation of dualities and dialectics. Mistaken identities, doubles, split personalities, and such opposites as good and evil, and self and other are thematized as inseparable. Gordon’s films, video installations, photographs, and texts transform differences into uncanny, nuanced pairs…



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