The Left Hand Can't See That the Right Hand is Blind
Douglas Gordon’s single-channel video The Left Hand Can’t See That The Right Hand is Blind, captures an unfolding scene between two hands in leather gloves—at first seemingly comfortable to be entwined, and later, engaged in a struggle. As suggested by the work’s title, each of the hands assumes a character with a distinct personality, as if we were witnessing a lovers’ quarrel and embrace, or the embodiment of opposing forces of an internal struggle.
Gordon has previously created performance-based works depicting his own body or parts of it—arms, hands, fingers, eyes—usually enacting simple, repetitive movements. Hands, in particular, have held his interest due to their ability to evoke internal emotional states and express aspects of identity, sexuality, fetishism and even our ability to communicate. These characterizations suggested by simple movements reflect his ongoing interest in notions of the ego, and internal struggles—and are illustrative of the formal techniques of doubling and mirroring, which can be seen in several of his works.