Maestros brings together two highly acclaimed moving image installations by the Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon. Exhibited for the first time together at the Mead Gallery
, both works offer a compelling portrait of virtuoso talent.
In Feature Film (1999) the camera hones in on conductor James Conlon as he leads the Paris Opera Orchestra in a performance of Bernard Herrmanns famous score for Alfred Hitchcocks Vertigo (1958). Zidane (2006) zooms in on a different kind of orchestration, following French footballer Zinedine Zidane through the course of an entire match. In both works the maestros are immersed in their own space, performing with and at the same time abstracted from the players around them.
In Feature Film, a cinema-scale projection offers mesmerising close-ups of Conlon conducting an unseen orchestra. Gordon fractures the normal filmic relationship between image and sound. Herrmanns soundtrack and Conlons gestures, ridden with tension and suspense, take centre stage while Hitchcocks film plays out in synchronised time on a small monitor in the corner of the space.
Also presented for the first time in the UK is the multi-screen installation of Zidane, made by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno. This work was inspired by Hellmuth Costards 1971 film Football As Never Before in which Costard used eight 16mm film cameras to follow George Best, in real time, for the course of an entire game between Manchester United and Coventry City. In Gordon and Parrenos film, a multitude of monitors shows real time footage of Zidane playing in a match between Real Madrid and Villareal.
The artists have explained that you see things in this film that you never see on TV, like his hands and gestures. The cameras never leave Zidane. Other players come in and out of the frame. Zidane watches, ambles around and then bursts into action. He is in his own space, watched by millions. The clamour of the crowd intersperses with a pulsing soundtrack by Mogwai, reinforcing his solitude on the field of play.
Bringing Feature Film and Zidane into dialogue, this exhibition foregrounds Gordon and Parrenos fascination with the mental space of the maestro and offers visitors the opportunity to experience two acclaimed installations, in a compelling interrogation of the idea of the artist as auteur.
Douglas Gordon was the recipient of the 1996 Turner Prize, the 1997 Venice Biennial's Premio 2000 award, the 1998 Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the 2008 Roswitha Haftmann Prize. His work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001); the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2006); Timeline, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006) and MALBA Colección Costantini, Buenos Aires (2007); Pretty much every word written, spoken, heard, overheard from 1989
, the MART, Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto, Italy (2006); Superhumanatural, the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2006); Between Darkness and Light: Works 19892007, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2007); Blood, Sweat, Tears, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague (2009) and Tate Britain, London (2010). The feature-length film, Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, which he co-directed with artist Philippe Parreno, premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival before screenings at numerous international venues. k.364 premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2010. Douglas Gordon lives and works in Berlin and Glasgow.
Philippe Parreno is an artist and filmmaker, who has had exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the Kunstverein, Munich; the Kunsthalle, Zürich; the Serpentine Gallery, London and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, USA; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Paris Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and the Museum of the 21st Century, Japan. Philippe Parreno was born in Oran, Algeria, and currently lives in Paris.