Still from : I Had Nowhere to Go
Scottish artist Douglas Gordon (b. 1966) is among the best known artists of his generation. His works in various media including photography, drawing, installation, videowork and sculpture, often revolve around memories, the subconscious, perceptions of reality and of time, including the deconstruction and distortion of the familiar and well-known. Cultural history and popular films have formed the foundation of some of Gordon’s works; the oldest example of them being 24 Hour Psycho (1993), where Alfred Hitchcock’s film is projected on a screen that hangs in the middle of the exhibition space and is slowed down so that it takes 24 hours to show instead of the original 109 minutes. In the work Between Darkness and Light (After William Blake) from 1997 two films, The Song of Bernadette (1943) and The Exorcist (1973), are simultaneously projected onto the same screen. The films both address young girls who are possessed by spirits, divine and devilish; the conflict of good and evil one of the defining principles in many of Gordon’s works.
Gordon’s film, I Had Nowhere to Go (2016) is a personal documentary and ode to Lithuanian-American film pioneer Jonas Mekas (1922 - 2019), and is based upon Mekas’ memoirs, whose work played a key role at RIFF - Reykjavík International Film Festival in 2018. The film is 97 minutes long, narrated by the fragile voice of the aging artist who reads his memoirs from Lithuania during the horror of the Second World War and his escape to the USA. The score drives the film forward; darkness dominating the vast majority, occasionally interrupted by imagery that counterbalances Mekas’ memories. Although darkness dominates the screen, Gordon has emphasized that the film’s visuals are nonetheless rich, the images simply appear in the mindset of the listener, the viewer and perceiver. Douglas Gordon participated in Talk Series (Umræðuþræðir) in 2016, a collaboration between IUA, Reykjavík Art Museum and Icelandic Art Center. This is the premiere of the film in Iceland.