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 Douglas Gordon  (1966 - )

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Lived/Active: Germany/Scotland      Known for: video art repetition studies, photography

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Douglas Gordon is a Scottish artist. He won the Turner Prize* in 1996, and the following year he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale*. He lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Gordon was born in Glasgow and studied art first there at the Glasgow School of Art* from 1984-1988 and later at the Slade School of Fine Art*, University College London, from 1988-1990.

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.[1]

In one early work, Meaning and Location (1990), a passage from the Gospel of Luke is given with a comma in different places, thus subtly changing the meaning of the sentence. List of Names (1990-present) is a list of every person Gordon has ever met and can remember. One version of this is applied onto the wall of a stairwell in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

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. 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 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.

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 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, he collaborated with Rufus Wainwright, creating the visuals for his tour which accompany Rufus' All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu album.

Gordon's first solo show was in 1986. In 1993 he exhibited 24 Hour Psycho in the spaces of the Glasgow Tramway. In 1996, Gordon was one of the artists invited to Skulptur Projekte Münster, and in 1997 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale*.

His work was the subject of a 2001 retrospective organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, which traveled to the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; the Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. In 2005 he put together an exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin called 'The Vanity of Allegory'. In 2006 Douglas Gordon Superhumanatural opened at the National Galleries of Scotland complex in Edinburgh, being Gordon's first major solo exhibition in Scotland since he presented 24 Hour Psycho in 1993. Also in 2006 there was an exhibition of his at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, called "Timeline". A 2006 retrospective was on view at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.

    •    2012: Käthe-Kollwitz-Preis awarded by the Akademie der Künste in Berlin
    •    2011: London Award for Art and Performance
    •    2011: Les Rencontres d'Arles festival, France
    •    2008: Roswitha Haftmann Prize[11]
    •    1998: Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum[12]
    •    1998: Central Kunstpreis awarded by the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne
    •    1997: Venice Biennial's Premio 2000 award
    •    1996: Turner Prize


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