Douglas Gordon: Play Dead: Real Time at Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery!

Experiencing the work of internationally renowned artist Douglas Gordon, I get the unique feeling only attained when writing or saying aloud the word, “milk” over and over again. I used to experiment with this when I was a child, and found that when forced to examine the mundane in such detail, it becomes something else entirely; something abstract, other worldly, thought-provoking. Try it; milk, milk, milk, milk, milk, milk, milk, milk, milk…

Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery in Halifax’s upcoming exhibition of the 2003 piece “Play Dead: Real Time”, opens on January 7th, 2011, at 8pm. For this monumental video installation, Gordon transported a four-year-old Indian elephant to New York’s Gagosian Gallery where he filmed the massive pachyderm performing a sequence of circus tricks from playing dead to standing still to begging. The three screens, as well as the large scale and Gordon’s brilliant camera angles create something very different from just an elephant in a white cube.

My work is more about researching, about memory, about stories that happened, films I saw… I’m interested in finding out what happens when you look at something so long, it disappears. You look at a picture, you start looking through the picture and you get to the other side- and then you go back to the front view. “-Douglas Gordon, 1999

Interesting. I wonder if Mr. Gordon in fact, also used to perform my little experiment with “milk”, repeating it over and over again until it disappeared into something completely new.

Douglas Gordon: Play Dead: Real Time is organized by the National Gallery of Canada, and will be showing at Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery until February 6th 2011.
Douglas Gordon was born in 1966 in Glasgow, Scotland. He lives and works in New York.

Image: Douglas Gordon Play Dead: Real Time 2003 Courtesy National Gallery of Canada © Douglas Gordon / photo © NGC


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