Douglas Gordon presents his first solo show in Brazil at Galeria Marilia Razuk
Coming on April 7th, the show brings about 25 of the renowned British artist’s works among videos, photos, drawings and sculptures.
Rather provocative, the Scottish Douglas Gordon creates multidisciplinary works that cannot simply be tightly adjusted to formal categories. The artist has produced films about celebrities, used rock stars’ pictures as starting point and videos reconstructing movie classics. From April 7th on part of this unique production can be seen in the show I will, if you will..., the artist’s first solo show in Brazil brought by Galeria Marilia Razuk in São Paulo. Still in April, the artist will present a work at Instituto Moreira Salles also in the capital.
The exhibition brings 25 of the artist’s works among videos, photos, drawings, sculptures and wall texts. Curated by Martina Aschbacher, the show comprises different periods in Gordon’s path, one of the greatest names in visual and performing arts in the world whose production has been shown in the most important artistic institutions on the planet. Still, the artist is the Turner Prize winner, consecrated contemporary art award offered by Tate Gallery inLondon.
By choosing simple formats the public usually identifies with, he discusses deep themes he loves so much. The universal tantalizing dualities are recurrent in his works. Life and death, right and wrong, profane and sacred are some of his duals present in his works exposed both in art shows and movie theaters.
In the video Twin Blade, as an example, one can see two identical passages where two young men are dressed alike. Each one has a knife in his hand, sharpened from time to time. The image is simple as you first glance at it, little by little it unveils a complex composition.
It is about two sequels of the same character, shot exactly at the same place but in different moments. To realize it is not about a single scene, but duplicated and mirrored images, the viewer has to pay close attention to small details that reveal the illusion: the rain, the shadow of a hand. In this optical game, the artist also considers the opposition between East and West once the work was shot in Tangier, Morocco the entrance gate to the emigration movement to Europe.
The town is also the scenery for Self Portrait in Tangier, a video that communicates with the former work. In a closed framework, it shows a male hand,all through the film, sharpening a silver spoon. Alternating concave and convex surfaces, the famous terraces of the African town can be seen in there flections of the object together with images of the artist himself – as he usually places his own image in several of his productions.
Hands, by the way, are also shown in other works in the exhibition. As in The Left Hand Can’t See That The Right HandIs Blind, video installation showing two hands in leather gloves struggling to get rid of each other. The exhibit also brings a group of five Carrara marble sculptures, small replicas and fragments of his own arms, hands and fingers.
‘The hand is a recurrent element in Gordon’s work as a symbol of the human behavior evoking identity, sexuality, fetishism or even insinuating human beings’ inability to communicate’, states the curator.
Throughou this career, Gordon has created self-portraits investigating the identity building mechanisms. In his works, he seizes celebrities’ images considering the role of idols in the individual and collective memory. The work Self Portrait of You + Me (Triple head Elvis), for example, brings three portraits of Elvis Presley. The images, that were burned, are overlapped to a mirror so that the public is able to see his own reflection over the singer’s image.
The piece Self Portrait as Kurt Cobain as Andy Warhol as Myra Hindley as Marilyn Monroe is composed by an image of the artist himself. In front of a red background, Gordon comes wearing a blonde wig evoking the celebrities mentioned in the title.
His posture also refers to Rrose Sélavy, the artist Marcel Duchamps’ female alterego. Starting again from the idea of the dual, Gordon goes over the dead locks in constructing an artwork, tenuously between the particular and the general. ‘Half the time you try to hide things out, the other half you try to let things clear’, the artist usually points out.
Apart from the exhibit at Marilia Razuk, the Scottish artist’s work can be seen at Instituto Moreira Salles. This institution will be presenting the video installation Iles Flottants in large format from April 14th on.
About the artist
Born in Glasgow in 1966, Douglas Gordon studied arts in his hometown, getting closer to the motion picture universe. The artist became internationally acknowledged in the 1990s with 24 Hour Psycho, a deaccelerated version of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic which lasts exactly one day.
In 1996, he was the first artist to be awarded the Turner Prize for a video production. In the following year, he represented Great-Britain in the Venice Biennale. His work has been shown in large institutions as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) and Tate Modern.
In Brazil, he participated in the 29a Bienal de São Paulo with Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now, a retrospective of his films and video presented until then. This is the second time his works are exhibited at Galeria Marilia Razuk, having taken part in the group show E Pluribus Unum in 2015.
Also produced, co-authoring with Phillipe Parreno, the film Zidane – A Portrait of the 21st Century, where he re-enacts a soccer game from the athlete’s perspective. In 2016, he launched the feature film I Had Now here to Go focusing on the Lithuanian movie director Jonas Meka. Currently, He is developing a public art project for the Tottenham Court Road tube station in London, expected to be opened in December this year.