Douglas Gordon

  • IN THE STILLNESS, 2013
    10 coloured bulbs, 177 Air-Rifle
    Dimensions variable
  • Self Portrait of You + Me, 2019
    burned Print, smoke, mirror and acteone
    56.34 x 49.45 x 1.97 in
  • Self-Portrait as an Actor, 2017
    Folienplot, Stenciled Spraypaint
    71.65 x 20.47 in

* 1966 born in Glasgow

1984 - 1988 BA Fine Arts Glasgow School of Arts
1988 - 1990 MA Slade School of Art in London

lives and works in Berlin and Glasgow

Much of Gordon's work is seen as being about memory and uses repetition in various forms. He uses material from the public realm and also creates performance-based videos. His work often overturns traditional uses of video by playing with time elements and employing multiple monitors.

Monster, 1996-7, color photograph by Douglas Gordon, Private ownership- Michael Hue Williams

Gordon has often reused older film footage in his photographs and videos One of his best-known art works is 24 Hour Psycho (1993) which slows down Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho so that it lasts twenty four hours.  In Between Darkness and Light (After William Blake) (1997), William Friedkin's Exorcist (1973) and Henry King's The Song of Bernadette (1943) - two films about adolescent girls driven by external forces - are projected on either side of a single free-standing semi-transparent screen so they can be seen simultaneously. The video installation left is right and right is wrong and left is wrong and right is right (1999) presents two projections of Otto Preminger's Whirlpool (1949) side by side, with the one on the right reversed so that the two sides mirror each other; by digital means, Gordon separated individual frames of the original film so that odd-numbered ones on one side alternate with even-numbered ones on the other. Feature Film (1999) is a projection of Gordon's own film of James Conlon conducting Bernard Herrmann's score to Vertigo, thus drawing attention to the film score and the emotional responses it creates in the viewer. In one installation, this was placed at the top of a tall building, referencing one of the film's main plot points. In Through a looking glass (1999), Gordon created a double-projection work around the climactic 71-second scene in Martin Scorsese’s film Taxi Driver (1976), in which the main character addresses the camera; the screens are arranged so that the character seems to be addressing himself. At first, the 71-second loops are in sync, but they get progressively out and then progressively back with each repetition of the whole, hourlong program.

Originally conceived as a site-specific video projection for Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, Play Dead; Real Time (2003) consists of two videos projected on two large screens showing a circus elephant named Minnie ponderously performing for an off-screen trainer in the empty, spacious, white-walled gallery room. In each projection the camera circles as the elephant walks around, lies down to play dead and gets up. The footage showing Minnie’s sequences of tricks is simultaneously presented in a front and a rear life-sized projection and on a monitor, with each one depicting the same event from a range of perspectives, including close-ups of the animal's eyes. Gordon also made a film about Zinedine Zidane, Zidane, un portrait du 21e siècle (2006), an idea first seen in a film by Hellmuth Costard, who, in 1970, made a film about George Best titled Football as Never Before. The feature-length film, which he co-directed with fellow artist Philippe Parreno and assembled from footage shot by seventeen synchronized cameras placed around the stadium in real time over the course of a single match, premiered outside the competition of the 2006 Cannes Film Festival before screenings at numerous international venues. k.364 premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2010.

Gordon has also made photographs, often in series with relatively minor variations between each individual piece. His Blind Stars (2002) featured publicity photographs of mid-century movie stars in which the sitters' eyes were replaced by expressionless black, white or mirrored surfaces.

In 2008, Gordon was a member of the Official Competition Jury at the 65th Venice International Film Festival.

In 2010, Gordon collaborated with Rufus Wainwright, creating the visuals for his tour which accompany Rufus' All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu album. In Phantom (2011), another collaboration with Wainwright, Gordon employs slow-motion film produced with a high-speed Phantom camera focusing on Wainright's eye — blackened with make-up, weeping, and glaring back at the viewer, echoing melodramatic performances by stars of the silent screen.