Born in Glasgow in 1966, Douglas Gordon is today among the most important as well as the most influential artists of his generation. While he is famous for his films and large-scale video installations such as 24 Hours Psycho, his oeuvre also encompasses photographs, texts, sculptures and sound installations. He is a Turner Prize recipient and has been a professor at Frankfurt’s Städelschule art academy since 2010.
In addition to Play Dead; Real Time (2003), one of Gordon’s chief pieces, the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst also has a number of other photo and video works by this artist in its holdings. Together they will provide the point of departure for the first major retrospective to be presented on Douglas Gordon in Europe since 2007.
With his analyses of images drawn from the collective memory and everyday culture, Gordon exposes basic patterns of perception. Within this framework, his works often revolve around phenomena of duplication and reflection: the couple, the double, light and dark, guilt and justice, etc. His latest work is entitled k.364, which stands for “Köchelverzeichnis No. 364”, the Köchel catalogue number assigned to the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna in 1779. After hearing this work of chamber music in Poznań (Poland), Gordon organized another performance of it with the well-known musicians Avri Levitan (viola), Roi Shiloah (violin) and the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio. The musicians’ journey from Berlin to Warsaw by way of Poznań and the performance of the symphony in Warsaw account for the major proportion of the film. The two musicians’ conversations on their way to Poland reveal that their pasts, and those of their parents, are complexly interwoven with German-Polish relations, and above all with the history of the Polish Jews during World War II.
The new film k.364 will be supplemented with the pieces by Gordon in the MMK collection and a large number of other prominent works of the past years to form a comprehensive exhibition – the first to assemble the latest works and thus to provide a concentrated and impressive overview of this multifaceted artist’s oeuvre.