In Monster (1996-97), the artist’s face becomes grotesque through the application of strips of transparent adhesive tape, typical of Gordon’s performance-based films that often depict his own body in action. Also characteristic of his work, the scene takes place in front of a mirror, suggesting the kind of personal self-reflection that one is capable of – both good and evil. The video makes clear cinematographic reference to the 'alter-ego' transformation in Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Blind Spencer is part of the series "Blind Stars" including hundreds of works in which the artist cut out the eyes of Hollywood stars, in a symbolically violent manner. An emptiness (some are burned letting appear a white or mirror background or a mirror) replaces the eyes, giving the impression of a blind eye deprived of all expression. Paradoxically, the work looks at us all the more intensely.
The works of Douglas Gordon span across film, video, installation, photography, sculpture in a play with the universal dualities life and death, innocence and guilt, and dual identities. "I like to build self-destructive systems or mechanisms that lead to the multiplicity of meaning, in a series of contradictory interpretations. I love it when a conspiracy of circumstances can help build a sense for a work, or may return against it at any moment," says the artist. In his videos, the artist offers a new experience of cinema in the space of contemporary art thus creating "exhibition cinema" as critic Dominique Païni has suggested. His work stems from the ideas of Walter Benjamin, who compared cinema to the action of a surgeon who deeply penetrates the heart of reality. In "24 Hour Psycho" (1993), the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie is dilated to 24 hours in a gesture that monumentalizes time and intensifies the photogram. Above all, the artist questions memory and perception, looking for what is latent in the images, objects, and sounds.
Douglas Gordon was born in 1966 in Glasgow, Scotland. He lives and works in New York.