Douglas Gordon: 24 Hour Psycho Back and Forth and To and Fro
This article is from 2010.
‘If I was alone in here,’ one visitor is overheard to admit, ‘I would touch myself.’ Perhaps the exclamation is a little loud, and extreme, but there is undoubtedly something unendingly seductive about Gordon’s characteristically dark presentation.
Revisiting polemical 1993 film work 24 Hour Psycho, this redux version presents two co-joined screenings of Hitchcock’s horror flick, both slowed to play out over the course of one day (two frames per second) – one forwards, the other backwards – so that the action meets for, and mirrors, the central murder scene.
Installed in the Tramway’s domineering main theatre space, for which Gordon’s original installation was created, the piece effects a heavy sense of the ceremonial. Exhibiting in Scotland for the first time in a decade, Gordon’s presence at Glasgow International may be viewed as nostalgic, a remembrance perhaps, a theory supported by the artist’s seemingly straightforward re-visitation to a past work. Yet, 24 Hour Psycho Back and Forth and To and Fro features an immediate and glossy onslaught of references – time, light, death, sex – all the good constant and universal stuff, but changed, adulterated, and fresh.
At the back of the space three monitors comprise menacing second work ‘Looking down with his black, black ee’. Squawking ravens teeter on the roof of a medieval church, conjuring localised literary and historical references, but most notably heightening the prevalent sense of foreboding emanating from the silent, slowly pacing central screens. Suggestive, erotic and evil, this is a rare treat.
Tramway, Glasgow, until Mon 3 May