Douglas Gordon

Laughing-Crying (from the portfolio Travaux Publics, Public Works)

About this artwork

Douglas Gordon frequently uses doubles and mirroring in his work, with the effect of confusing and undermining obvious meaning. In this work, two extreme emotional states are contradicted, with the phrase being mirrored upside down and back to front. This visual wordplay encourages the viewer to question language and calls into question the identity of the ‘I’. Gordon has explained: ‘I like to construct self-destructive systems, or mechanisms, which can only lead towards a multiplicity of meanings, a series of contradictory interpretations.’ The ‘Travaux Publics’ (Public Works) portfolio explores different ways of using text and language in art. Each artist made a proposal for a work which was shown in a public space as well as being reproduced in the portfolio.

Updated before 2020

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Douglas Gordon

Douglas Gordon