What do you do when you dig something up—do you put it back, or do you display it? Because if you display it, there would be a hole where it has been.
Art is not supposed to interrupt the flow of life, it’s supposed to bring to you information that changes the next course.
Gagosian is pleased to present “Rosy-Fingered Dawn,” a correspondence between Douglas Gordon and Lawrence Weiner.
For both artists, the written word is a formal foundation and a conceptual conduit. Exploring processes of human consciousness and perception, Gordon reveals the dual nature of the self, while Weiner exposes the sculptural dimensions of language. “Rosy-Fingered Dawn” is a recurring epithet from Homer's Odyssey, an optimistic proposition for a new beginning.
Gordon’s projections, installations, photographs, text works, and performances investigate the potential of collective memory. Here, seven marble sculptures depict parts of the artist’s hands and forearms in embracing positions. The gestures can be read as either innocent or sinister. Precise details, like veins and creases in the skin, emerge from more amorphous, uncarved areas. The hands are simultaneously in progress and in ruin, their missing fingers and jagged surfaces evoking fragments of ancient sculpture. This battle of selfhood, a persistent theme in Gordon's work, continues in Shadows and Ghosts (2012). Around the gallery walls, reverse-stenciled white lettering emerges from a faint cloud of metallic grey spray paint, describing the “demons” of a “former self,” waiting nefariously for the current self “to join them.”
Weiner’s work intersects the structure of language with the structure of sculpture. His phrases and striking graphics—stenciled, painted, inscribed, or otherwise applied to walls and surfaces—inescapably alter their given context. Here, in overlapping English and Modern Greek, Weiner evokes the predatory attraction of one culture for another, suggesting a fatal erotic encounter. The text is presented in vivid blue and reflective silver and arranged in sliding sculptural segments that accentuate the innate materiality of language. In Weiner’s words, it “HAS TO DO WITH THE CARESS OF ONE CULTURE TO ANOTHER & AS IT ASSUMES AN UNDERSTANDING OF THAT CULTURE IT DISCARDS ITS MEANING.”
Like the fragments of Ancient Greek art and philosophy that have given rise to entire new histories, Gordon’s and Weiner’s sculptures invite the viewer to construct individual scaffolds of meaning around them.
Douglas Gordon was born in 1966 in Glasgow, Scotland and lives and works in Berlin. Collections include Tate, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MUSAC - Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; QAGOMA, Australia; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Museum of Modern Art, New York. Institutional exhibitions include “Douglas Gordon: Timeline,” Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006, traveled to Malba - Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires); “Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now,” British School at Rome (2007, traveled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art); “Douglas Gordon. Between Darkness and Light. Works 1993—2004,” Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2007); Tate Britain, London (2010); Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2011); “I am also ....,” Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2013); “Everything Is Nothing without Its Reflection – A Photographic Pantomime,” Museum Folkwang, Germany (2013); “Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now,” Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (2014); and “the only way out is the only way in: Douglas Gordon,” Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2014).
Gordon will have a solo exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in July as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, and he has been commissioned to make a permanent work for the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road, London in 2018. His critically acclaimed film I Had Nowhere to Go, about the avant-garde icon Jonas Mekas, is currently being shown in documenta 14 Athens/Kassel.
BORN 10 FEBRUARY 1942 BRONX NEW YORK.
ATTENDED THE NEW YORK PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.
THE LATE FIFTIES AND EARLY SIXTIES WERE SPENT TRAVELING THROUGHOUT NORTH AMERICA (USA − MEXICO AND CANADA).
THE FIRST PRESENTATION OF THE WORK WAS IN MILL VALLEY CALIFORNIA IN 1960.
LAWRENCE WEINER DIVIDES HIS TIME BETWEEN HIS STUDIO IN NEW YORK CITY AND HIS BOAT IN AMSTERDAM.
HE PARTICIPATES IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PROJECTS AND EXHIBITIONS IN BOTH THE NEW AND OLD WORLD MAINTAINING THAT:
ART IS THE EMPIRICAL FACT OF THE RELATIONSHIPS OF OBJECTS TO OBJECTS IN RELATION TO HUMAN BEINGS & NOT DEPENDENT UPON HISTORICAL PRECEDENT FOR EITHER USE OR LEGITIMACY.
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