Blain|Southern Berlin is delighted to present a new group of video works by Douglas Gordon during the 63rd Film Berlinale, 2013. Gordon is one of the most important and influential artists of his generation. In addition to films and video installations, his work embraces photography, the written word, sculpture and music.
For Sharpening Fantasy, 2012 Gordon travelled to Tangier, where he filmed traditional knife grinders in different locations within the Kasbah of the seaport city. The viewer watches as the effortlessly repeated movements of the men are set to the soundtrack of their day’s work. Following the recent large-scale, site-specific works by Jannis Kounellis and Lawrence Weiner, the installation transforms the former production hall of Der Tagesspiegel newspaper into an experiential, audio-visual space. The work presents collisions between Europe and the ‘Orient’, perception and prejudice, desire and fear.
Unlike the films of snake charmers in Natural Historie on the Parapet and Natural Historie on the Altar, which Gordon recorded in Marrakech four years previously, Sharpening Fantasy, 2012 blurs the boundaries between the different sensory perceptions, between reality and fairy tale, between dramatic imagination and a more muted gaze.
Douglas Gordon has long been affiliated with Berlin; he won a DAAD scholarship in 1998 and has lived and worked there since 2008.