Douglas Gordon is one of the most important and influential artists of his generation. In addition to films and video installations, his work encompasses photography, the written word, sculpture, and sound installations.
For ‘Sharpening Fantasy, 2012’, Gordon travelled to Tangier, where he filmed two scissors and knife grinders in different locations within the kasbah of the seaport city. Following the recent site-specific, large-scale works by Jannis Kounellis and Lawrence Weiner, the installation transforms the former printing plant 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 on a first shoot in Marrakesh 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.