Willie Doherty

Tate Liverpool

The trajectory of Willie Doherty’s photographic work since the early ’80s, as well as his subsequent work with slides and video, resembles that of a dissatisfied detective who repeatedly returns to the scene of an insoluble crime. Or perhaps it more closely resembles that of the perpetrator of the crime who falls prey to a similar urge. It is no coincidence that this very ambiguity lies at the heart of one of Doherty’s most powerful installations, The Only Good One is a Dead One, 1993, in which a voice-over monologue switches unnervingly between the point of view of an assassin and that of his potential target as we watch surveillance footage of a seemingly innocuous residential street in late evening, while an adjacent screen shows footage shot from a car speeding down narrow country roads at night. This was one of the five video/slide pieces from the ’90s that were brought together in

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