SCOTTISH STYLE AWARDS 2011 - GLASGOW, SCOTLAND
Judging Panel - Douglas Gordon
Douglas Gordon, acknowledged as one of the most important “visual artists” of his generation, has focused since the beginning of his career on two expressive forms: verbal communication and moving images. Awarded the prestigious Turner Prize (1996) at the age of thirty, during his career he has created video-installations, films, photographs, objects and texts using a variety of languages to explore issues related to the search for identity, the tension between good and evil, and always showing extreme interest in a profound study of the human condition. Gordon is known to the public for his video installations, in which he studies the viewer’s perceptive processes by using recognizable images to explore questions about memory and individual identity and their evolution over time. For this purpose he often uses sequences from classic Hollywood films, such as Rear Window (1954) or Taxi Driver (1976). An example of his ability to elaborate on cinema is the famous 24 Hours Psycho (1993), one of his most famous works internationally. Presented in 1993 at the Tramway Theatre in Glasgow, 24 Hours Psycho is based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) projected without the audio and at a speed of 2 frames per second (instead of the usual 24), slowing the film down enough to make it last 24 hours.
After training at the Glasgow School of Art between 1984 and 1988, Gordon completed his studies at the Slade School of Art in London. Between the Eighties and Nineties, the work of this young Scottish artist attracted great interest on the artistic scene in Glasgow: in 1986 his first solo show drew the attention of critics and led him to exhibit his works in important museums such as the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Centro Cultural de Belém in Portugal and the DIA Center for the Arts in New York. Other prestigious institutions hosted his works in ensuing years, including the Tate in Liverpool (2000), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (2001), the Hayward Gallery in London (2002) and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (2003).
In 1997 he participated in SkulpturProjekte in Münster with an installation inside a pedestrian underpass transformed into a sort of movie theatre that projected two famous movies representing religious and satanic obsession in a loop on both sides of a single screen: The Song of Bernadette (1943) by Henry King and The Exorcist (1973) by William Friedkin. In 2001 Gordon had his first retrospective in the United States at the Geffen Contemporary in Los Angeles and later exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada, at the Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico City and at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. In 2005, he curated ‘The Vanity of Allegory’, an exhibition at the Guggenheim in Berlin. In recent years Gordon’s works have been exhibited in many other prestigious art institutions such as the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery in Edinburgh, and the MArt in Trento. In addition to the Turner Prize, Gordon has won many other international awards such as the “Premio Duemila” for the best young artist at the Visual Arts Biennale in Venice in 1997 and the Hugo Boss Award at the Guggenheim Museum in SoHo. His most recent exhibitions include ‘Timeline’ (2006) at the MoMA in New York, ‘Superhumanatural’ (2007) at the National Gallery of Scotland and ‘Between Darkness and Light’ (2007) at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Wolfsburg. Gordon’s real debut in the world of cinema, however, came in 2005 with the film Zidane - A 21st Century Portrait (Zidane, un portrait du 21e siècle), directed in partnership with Philippe Parréno and presented out of competition at Cannes in 2006 and pitched between documentary and video-art.