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Blain|Southern: Douglas Gordon - Sharpening Fantasy, 2012 - 7 Feb 2013 to 28 Apr 2013

Current Exhibition

7 Feb 2013 to 28 Apr 2013

Potsdamer Straße 77–87

Douglas Gordon
Sharpening Fantasy, 2012
(film still)

Artists in this exhibition: Douglas Gordon

Douglas Gordon
Sharpening Fantasy, 2012

7th February – 28th April 2013
Private View: Sunday 10th February
11am – 1pm

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.


Douglas Gordon was born in Glasgow in 1966. After receiving his B.A. at the Glasgow School of Art (1984 to 1988).

Gordon undertook a post-graduate program at the Slade School of Art in London (1988 to 1990). Gordon has had major solo exhibitions at Tate Liverpool (2000), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001), the Hayward Gallery, London (2002) and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2003). In 2005, he curated The Vanity of Allegory, an exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin and released the film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. Further solo exhibitions include those at the National Gallery of Scotland (2007); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2007); MoMA, New York (2006); Palais des Papes, Avignon (2008); DOX, Prague (2009); Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich (2009); DVIR Gallery, Tel Aviv (2009); Tate Britain, London (2010); Gagosian Gallery, London (2011); Yvon Lambert, Paris (2011); MMK, Frankfurt (2011); and MOCA, Los Angeles (2012). His work Henry Rebel was shown at 43 Basel Art Unlimited, Basel, and in September 2012 the Akademie der Deutschen Künste, Berlin, hosted a solo exhibition.

He has been invited to present his work at a number of film festivals, including, the Festival de Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), La Biennale di Venezia, and Edinburgh International Film Festival, among many others.

Gordon was the 1996 recipient of the Turner Prize and the Kunstpreis Niedersachsen, Kunstverein Hannover. In 1997 he was awarded the Premio 2000 at the 47 Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice and received the DAAD Stipend in Berlin. In 1998 he was presented with the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum in SoHo, New York, as well as with the Central Kunstpreis, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne and the Lord Provost’s Award, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow.

Most recently, in 2008, he won the Roswitha Haftmann Prize awarded by the Kunsthaus Zürich and he was the recipient of the 2012 Käthe-Kollwitz Prize, awarded by the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. In 2008 Gordon was Juror at the 65th International Venice Film Festival, La Biennale di Venezia, and in 2012 he was the Jury president of CinemaXXI at the 7th Rome Film Festival, Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma.

Douglas Gordon lives and works in Berlin and Glasgow.


Potsdamer Straße 77–87
10785, Berlin
30 April–16 July 2011
Private View: Friday 29 April, 6-8pm

Press enquiries London:
Mark Inglefield, Blain|Southern, London W1S 1BP
T: +44 (0)7 584 199 500 | E:

Press enquiries Berlin:
Markus Müller, Bureau Mueller, Alte Schönhauserstr. 35, 10119 Berlin
T: +49 (0) 20188432 | E:

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