Douglas Gordon: Voyage in Italy

Douglas Gordon: Voyage in Italy
Library Shelf Location 18.GORD
Publication Date 2006
Description pretty much every word written, spoken, heard, overheard from 1989... Douglas Gordon's work embraces a wide-range of media including video, photographic, audio and text-based works. A defining feature of Gordon's approach is an acute sensitivity to the associative power, whether actual or potential, of a particular site. In 2009, he was commissioned to create a site-specific work at Tate Britain, to be installed in the Octagon and alongside Art and the Sublime, a display of historic sublime works in the adjacent gallery. These spaces are remarkable for their austere, neo-classical grandeur, with barrel-vaulted ceilings and a central dome designed to make the gallery a 'temple of art'. Gordon's response was to utilize and animate the architecture itself with a complex yet cohesive installation of over eighty text-based works entitled Pretty much every word written, spoken, heard, overheard from 1989… (2010). On one level, the effect seems to articulate Gordon's idea of art operating as 'a dialogue between artist and viewer', hence many of the texts address us directly, employing 'I', 'You' and 'We'. On another, it underlines the artist's fascination with language and its potential for ambiguity, obscurity and multiple meanings. As the title suggests, the origins and style of these texts are wide-ranging, both personal and universal. Some have a rhetorical or Biblical tone, such as the declamatory 'We Are Evil' on the floor of the Octagon, or the contemplative rendering of 'Read the Word…Hear the Voice' on the ceiling above the historic painting display in Gallery 9. The latter is positioned opposite, and thus in dialogue with, a text set as an ellipse that quotes one of the sayings of Jesus Christ, 'Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise', spoken during his crucifixion, as related in the Gospel of St Luke (23:34) and here installed in powerful juxtaposition with John Martin's Last Judgement trilogy. The quotation is not, however, as straightforward as it first seems, hence Gordon's interest in it. Indeed, various translations of the Bible over time have changed the punctuation and thus the meaning, with the comma appearing either before or after the word 'today'. Will redemption come today or sometime in the future? Both interpretations are represented in Gordon's text work.
ISBN 9788861300057
Quantity 1
Pages 109
Editor Verzotti Giorgio
Publisher Skira Editore
Related Artist Douglas Gordon
Category Installation
Artist's Nationality British/UK
Language English

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