News

Douglas Gordon, Beat Streuli, Wim Delvoye, and More

DOUGLAS GORDON AT THE KUNSTHAUS BREGENZ: In his exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz, writes Harald Fricke in Die Tageszeitung, Douglas Gordon explores zones of darkness—both symbolically and literally: The Scottish film-and-video artist has covered the inside of the building with black cloth, transforming the pristine white cube into “a gothic haunted house.” The ghost is none other than Robert Wringhim, the antihero who makes a pact with the devil in James Hogg's 1824 classic Confessions of a Justified Sinner. The novel, which inspired the Surrealists with its graphic depiction of violence and murder, has led Gordon to make three new works, which Fricke describes as experiments in audio, video, and writing: The tale, read in German translation by the Austrian novelist Michael Köhlmeier, echoes throughout the building; an hour-long video visualizes Wringhim's possessed personality; finally, every afternoon, a printing machine churns out the pages of the novel—all part of Gordon's total work-in-progress. A workshop on satanism rounds out the exhibition, which runs through April 19, and there's no need to make a pact with the devil to participate.

THREE ARTIST PROFILES: Le Monde recently profiled no less than three contemporary artists: Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, Swiss photographer Beat Streuli, and Palestinian painter Taysir Batniji. Delvoye, “an engineer of excess,” discusses the difficulties inherent to his projects: from anesthetizing pigs in order to give them tattoos to finding the right gastric fluids for his “merde” machine Cloaca (currently on view at the New Museum in New York). Streuli, who is based in Düsseldorf near the renowned Grieger photo laboratory, elaborates on his method of photographing strangers in city crowds with a telephoto lens. ”There are millions of people whom we touch only with a gaze,“ he muses. ”These accumulate in our memory. I want to restore them by getting as close as possible to the gaze of the passer-by.“ Finally, Batniji creates a different kind of memorial by painting portraits of Palestinian martyrs based on the memorial posters found throughout the occupied territories of the West Bank. ”There's a double disappearance,“ Batniji says of his paintings. ”That of the Palestinian martyrs, whose existence is recognized only through death, and that of the photocopied posters of them."

CRITIC'S COLLECTION, ARTIST'S ANATOMY: The Guardian's Maev Kennedy takes a look at the private collection of the late art critic David Sylvester, who died of cancer last year. Sylvester's formidable collection, which includes charcoal drawings by Willem de Kooning, Yoruba masks, and Flemish tapestries, is to be exhibited in Paris and New York before being auctioned on February 26 at Sotheby's in London. Meanwhile, The Guardian's Dominic Murphy talks with Marc Quinn about the latest addition to his unique collection of biodegradable sculptures: a frozen model of his newborn son's head, made from the baby's placenta. “The placenta is a piece of flesh where there's this ambiguity,” says Quinn. “Is it the mother or is it the child?” The work is on view in Quinn's new show at Tate Liverpool along with DNA Garden, a display of plant and human DNA.

ALL IMAGES

LATEST NEWS