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Douglas Gordon, “Larger than life”, “Life size”, “Smaller than life”

Douglas Gordon

“Larger than life”, “Life size”, “Smaller than life” (2011)

Many of Douglas Gordon’s films, performances, and the photographic series that document them are studies of time and recollection, repetition and seriality. His best-known works include “24 Hour Psycho” (1993), a film installation that decelerates the Hitchcock classic from the customary playback speed to no more than two frames per second, so that the horror lasts the twenty-four hours the title promises. Such appropriation of canonical cinematic imagery has allowed the Scottish artist to address not only the perception of time and duration, but also the recognition of cultural signs and issues of authorship and authenticity. “Feature Film” (1999), too, makes reference to Hitchcock. In the feature-length video, the camera focuses on the hands of the conductor James Conlon as he leads a performance of the score for Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (1958). Hands, and the artist’s hands in particular, which stand at the center of this work, are a recurring motif in Gordon’s art more generally.

For Texte zur Kunst, he has designed a three-part photographic series documenting a performance centered on his own hand. The artist sprays it with gold lacquer; another shot shows the paint dripping off his fingers. The vigorous removal of the gold-coated layer of skin the right hand in the third photograph is about to perform is a reference to the video series “Divided Self” from the late 1990s, in which various parts of Gordon’s body, including his arms, interact. The photographs also invoke discourses around the artist’s body as a source of visual creation: from Richard Serra’s video “Hand Catching Lead” (1968) to examples of Body art in which the media of film and photography likewise serve to turn the artist’s body itself into an image. The sequential quality of the photographs vividly suggests their origin in a performance and hints at Gordon’s engagement with processes in time.

For Texte zur Kunst, Douglas Gordon has designed a series of three photographs based on a performance. The C-prints bear the titles "Larger than life", "Life size" and "Smaller than life", 2011. The work consists of these three pictures, each measuring 34 by 25.5 cm. It is produced in an edition of 100 + 20 APs, signed and numbered on the back and costs €245 plus shipping.