new-york

Douglas Gordon

Gagosian Gallery (21)

Douglas Gordon’s latest video installation, in which an Indian elephant moves silently across two freestanding screens and a monitor installed in the gallery’s cavernous space, has been taken as everything from a comment on man’s relationship with nature to an unlikely instance of abstraction. But Gordon’s Play Dead; Real Time, 2003, is perhaps most effectively read as an allegory of the spectacularization of late-’60s critical practice that has marked the art of the last fifteen years.

Harking back to the earlier era’s effort to dismantle the artwork’s autonomy by refracting it across multiple registers, Gordon’s project is a filmic re-presentation of a live action. Its integration of the cinematic image into a Minimalist-derived sculptural idiom, and the resulting fusion of black box and white cube (to quote Whitney curator Chrissie Iles), is equally indebted to the art of that time. The

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