Audemars Piguet

Douglas Gordon is Making Way for the Next Wave

We met with the Turner Prize-winning artist in his Berlin studio about humor and the desire to provoke.
Reading time 4 minutes

Douglas Gordon is here to disrupt your ideas about reality. A believer that time is merely a construct, he slowed down Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho to make it last a full 24 hours. He also created a sound installation Something Between My Mouth and Your Ear, and a film about soccer player Zinedine Zidane entitled Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait

Gordon talked to L'Officiel about his influences, winning the Turner Prize, and how he got started. 


You are originally from Glasgow, where you studied at the School of Art before moving on to the Slade School of Fine Art in London. These are two places of great prestige in which you have experimented with sculpture, cinema and video. How did you discover your artistic inclination?

When I was about 10 years old, a professor wrote in my notebook: "We need to encourage the artistic tendencies of Douglas at the first opportunity." I guess my parents took the advice literally. Forty years later, I am still always looking for these opportunities.


In 1993, at age 26, you exhibited your first significant work, 24 Hour Psycho, which takes the plot of Hitchcock's film and makes it exponentially longer. From what point of view did this work inspire future ones?

In recent years at the Glasgow Academy, I had begun to get my hands dirty with performance. Those very experimental attempts encouraged me to explore the duration of concentrated and repetitive gestures with very simple objects. We approached these gestures in a kind of slow way, but in real-time, since we were being watched by the audience. We worked with slow motion, slowed objects, slow smells, and I even tried to slow down an incandescent flame.


Classical cinema and literature innervate your works. Which authors and directors have influenced you the most, and why?

The King of KingsThe ExorcistThe Greatest Story Ever ToldCarrieThe Great EscapeMarnieBirdsThe Ten Commandments (the film and the biblical episode), The TunicKidnappedDr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeThe Red Balloon, and The Crow (the film and poetry). Inspiration is never anything but a disguised "suggestion." On the other hand, such disguises are always welcome in the show that is my life. Fertilization, on the other hand, has heavier effects, and I prefer to leave this suffering to others.


What effects has the Turner Prize had on your career?

As I was the first Scottish Turner Prize winner, it seemed right to leave the UK as soon as possible to make way for the next wave.

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Artist jacket and watch from the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection, Automatic Chronograph, in 18-carat white gold, 41mm, on a blue dial, Audemars Piguet.

Solo exhibitions: "Douglas Gordon," ARoS Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark, 7 September 2019 - 16 February 2020. Group exhibitions: “Bauhaus und die Fotografie - zum Neuen Sehen in der Gegenwartskunst," Kunsthalle Darmstadt, 26 September 2019 -5 July 2020. "Fly me to the Moon. 50 Jahre Mondlandung," Museum of Modern Art on the Mönchsberg, Salzburg, 20 July -3 November 2019. “ Hey Psycho! Institute for Politics and Representation, Venice, until November 24, 2019. 



Photography Dennis Schoenberg
Grooming Kenny Campbell



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