Accompanying the exhibition that focused on Gordon's filmic work, this book is an extended meditation on the interwoven themes of film, psychoanalysis, and cultural and global events, and the way in which all of these have affected the idea of individual biography. It explores the idea of the collective and the personal through a collaboration with the artist: a series of iconic images of events from the past forty years (a nod to Gordons birth date of 1966) that deal with the idea of visual memory and shared visual knowledge. The visualization of time—individually perceived time, technically measured time, the time it takes to tell a story and the time the story covers—is an essential element of this reflection. The book contains an essay by the exhibition's organizer, MoMA Curator Klaus Biesenbach.
Throughout his career, Douglas Gordon has engaged in an ongoing reflection on the motion picture. By altering and recontextualizing familiar and popular films in order to throw into high relief the relationship between film, memory, and identity, Gordon examines the relationship between movies and our perception of them, and, effectively, sculpts time itself.
Film and psychoanalysis emerged at more or less the same time in history, and their simultaneous influence on communal and personal, even intimate, experience is apparent in the widely shared sense that life unfolds in a manner akin to a screenplay: a narrative of cause and effect imprinted by extraordinary inner forces—avoidance, imagination, memory.
Gordon is acutely attuned to the relation of such deep experiences as love, longing, loss, and trauma to what one feels while watching film. He understands how films refer to other films, how they superimpose themselves upon each other and upon their viewers' memories, and how they express and represent the ideals and fears of their times. Includes 271 illustrations.