Douglas Gordon’s recent multichannel video installation I Had Nowhere to Go, 2016, unfolds in unrelenting darkness. The only relief comes from several images and flashes of color that appear for varying lengths of time on the large screen, two small floor-mounted monitors, and mirrors scattered around the gallery walls. This space is dominated instead by the sound of a foreigner reading, in English, dated passages in no particular order. The words ricochet off the metallic-looking walls until the voice goes silent. Suddenly a clatter of bullets and explosions flares up. There are also less spectacular sounds: a halfheartedly incanted song, a kind of humming, a note repeated only to fade away. As one wanders in and around the room, one’s own reflection also eerily appears in mirrors sometimes replaced by shards of reflected pictures.
With these simple but highly effective means,
Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.
Not registered for artforum.com?
SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*
* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.