press release

Douglas Gordon at the Mart pretty much every word written, spoken, heard, overheard from 1989…

The Mart will be hosting “pretty much every word written, spoken, heard, overheard from 1989…”, the first museum exhibition to be dedicated to Douglas Gordon in Italy. From 7 October 2006 to 21 January 2007, the Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (Mart) will present a retrospective dedicated to the British artist, as well as an installation produced specially for the museum.

Douglas Gordon, winner of the Turner Prize in 1996, has established himself as one of the most important international artists around. He has always been interested in the double expressive register of verbal communication and the communication of moving images. Gordon has made a name for himself for video-installations of unusual dimensions and for his texts, printed on the walls of the exhibition spaces in the most varied of locations. Over the past ten years, he has held exhibitions in the world’s leading galleries and museums. The latest in the series is a retrospective dedicated to him this year at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Gordon has always considered a place where the public relates to the work as artistic, as a space open to dialogue and social dynamics, a place in which to reflect on life.

The Mart exhibitions has been based on this initial idea and intends working actively on the exhibition spaces. The works on show, chosen by the artist, are 24 Hours Psycho, a video in which the artist intervenes on real time and alters it, and on the moving image to render it more monumental, in order to modify radically the habitual concept of real space. The images are drawn from Alfred Hitchcock’s film, Psycho, the duration of which is distorted to last 24 hours. Play dead. Real time (2003) will be the second video-installation on show, playing on the double image projected on to giant screens, of a circus elephant trained to “play dead”. Finally, Pretty much every film and video… will present a large number of the artist’s video works since 1992 on a series of television screens. This part will be presented in the gallery dedicated to temporary exhibitions, in the dark, in a section which the curators, Giorgio Verzotti and Mirta D'Argenzio, have counterbalanced with a daylight area making use of natural light: in the circular corridor liking the mezzanine with the second floor at the Mart. Gordon will present a work formed of all his verbal texts, recontextualised in a new version planned specially for this architectural space, and with the addition of a new text, also produced for the Mart.

The catalogue, published by Skira, documents the activity of Douglas Gordon in Italy. The artist has exhibited in this country since 1992, when he produced one of his “Instruction Pieces” at the cafè Picasso in Rome. Subsequently, he took part in group shows in galleries and exhibition spaces, and participated in the Venice Biennales of 1997 and 1999. His most recent exhibition in Italy was held with Philippe Parreno at the Fondazione Davide Halevim of Milan in 2006. The catalogue will document these events with images of the works exhibited and a graphic elaboration of the “text work” produced for our museum.

Douglas Gordon

Douglas Gordon, born in Scotland in 1966, expresses himself through video installations, film, photography, objects and verbal texts. Using these different forms, he explores the problems regarding psychological introspection, the search for identity, the concepts of innocence and guilt, the tension between the opposing principles of good and evil, all of which indicate his interest in a profound sounding of the human condition.

Highly regarded for his video installations, in which he reuses sequences drawn from famous Hollywood films, Gordon studied at The Glasgow School of Art and at The Slade School of Fine Arts, London. In Glasgow, his performances gained a close following in the art world between the late 1980s and early 1990s. The work which has gained greatest international attention so far has been 24 Hours Psycho, in which Hitchcock’s famous film is projected at a surreally slow speed to last 24 hours. Much of the artist’s work explores popular culture, from films such as “Rear Window”, “The Exorcist” or “Taxi Driver” to anonymous documentaries, in order to study the perceptive processes and interfere with the expectations of the viewer. Gordon has received major international awards for his career, including the Turner Prize in 1996, the Biennale di Venezia award in 1997 and the Hugo Boss Prize in 1998. He has recently held thematic exhibitions in New York and Scotland.

Curated by Giorgio Verzotti and Mirta D'Argenzio

With the contribution of the Fondazione Davide Halevim


only in german

Douglas Gordon
Kuratoren: Giorgio Verzotti, Mirta D'Argenzio