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Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World Ocula Conversation Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World

'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Stan Douglas

b. 1960, Canada

Through photography, film and installation, the Canadian artist Stan Douglas has, since the late-1980s, examined complex intersections of narrative, fact and fiction while scrutinising the constructs of the media he employs and their influence on our understanding of reality. Douglas's work is often in the first instance an examination of place - Potsdam, Cuba and Detroit have provided the impetus for, respectively, Der Sandmann (1995), Inconsolable Memories (2005) and Le Détroit (1999) - but entangled with the detail of specific geographical and political circumstance is a diverse range of source material that has included the writings of Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Theodor W. Adorno and ETA Hoffmann, along with the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles.

While we may recognise the literary, filmic or musical references, along with the stories, places or even characters appropriated in these complex works, expectations are often frustrated. Instead of narrative fulfilment, Douglas offers us complexity, perplexity and doubt. The artist has remarked that 'life is all middle' and in Douglas's work the viewer often finds himself plunged into events whose beginnings are obscured and whose ends seem to dissolve into mutability. For instance, the films Journey Into Fear (2001), which makes reference to Eric Ambler's 1940s spy novel as well as Herman Melville's 1857 novel The Confidence Man, and Klatsassin (2006), which by referring to Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film Rashomon reveals details of a murder in nineteenth-century British Columbia through a series of sometimes contradictory flashbacks and anecdotes, unfolding over many days. Both are examples of Douglas's 'recombinant' works - sequences of imagery and dialogue generated by computer as permutations that are capable of running without repetition for timespans way in excess of the conventional art-viewing experience. As such, the works unmoor themselves from formal requirements of narrative and expectations of authorship as they liberate the viewer to reflect on the contingencies of truth in the wider world. It is no coincidence that Douglas often chooses to locate his work where failures of political and social systems are most apparent. His critical eye focused on events that could have taken a very different turn, Douglas attunes us to the possibility of alternative outcomes.

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Featured Artworks

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N99N by Stan Douglas contemporary artwork
Stan DouglasN99N, 2016 Lacquered UV ink on gessoed panel
150 x 150 x 5 cm
Victoria Miro
Pembury Estate by Stan Douglas contemporary artwork
Stan DouglasPembury Estate, 2017 C-print on dibond
150 x 300 cm
Victoria Miro
Mare Street by Stan Douglas contemporary artwork
Stan DouglasMare Street, 2017 C-print on dibond
180 x 300 cm
Victoria Miro
Lazy Bay by Stan Douglas contemporary artwork
Stan DouglasLazy Bay, 2015 Digital chromogenic print mounted on Dibond aluminum
39 1/4 x 99 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches
Victoria Miro
Bumtown by Stan Douglas contemporary artwork
Stan DouglasBumtown, 2015 Digital chromogenic print mounted on Dibond aluminum
62 3/4 x 122 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches
Victoria Miro
The Second Hotel Vancouver by Stan Douglas contemporary artwork
Stan DouglasThe Second Hotel Vancouver, 2014 Digital chromogenic print mounted on Dibond aluminum
96 x 60 inches
Victoria Miro
Hogan's Alley by Stan Douglas contemporary artwork
Stan DouglasHogan's Alley, 2014 Digital chromogenic print mounted on Dibond aluminum
62 x 122 x 3 inches
Victoria Miro
The Secret Agent by Stan Douglas contemporary artwork
Stan DouglasThe Secret Agent, 2015 Six-channel video projection with sound
Victoria Miro

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Brilliant City at David Zwirner, Hong Kong
Closed
6 July–4 August 2018 Group Exhibition Brilliant City David Zwirner, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Stan Douglas, DCTs and Scenes from the Blackout at David Zwirner, New York
Closed
22 February–7 April 2018 Stan Douglas DCTs and Scenes from the Blackout David Zwirner, 19th Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Stan Douglas, Solo Exhibition at Victoria Miro, London
Closed
26 October–20 December 2017 Stan Douglas Solo Exhibition Victoria Miro, Mayfair, London

Represented By

In Related Press

View All (7)
'The Infinite Mix' review: contender for show of the year Related Press 'The Infinite Mix' review: contender for show of the year Evening Standard : 7 September 2016

Don’t you wonder sometimes, ’bout sound and vision?” David Bowie, ever the trailblazer, perfectly expressed the impulse behind this show back in 1977. The Infinite Mix, a Hayward Gallery pop-up staged while its South Bank home is being refurbished, features 10 video installations in which artists, mostly from the UK, Europe and...

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Unlimited section at Art Basel in Basel to include El Anatsui, Stan Douglas et al. Related Press Unlimited section at Art Basel in Basel to include El Anatsui, Stan Douglas et al. ARTNews : 29 April 2016

Unlimited, the Art Basel platform allotted for large-scale and unconventional artworks, will be showing a record 88 projects from participating galleries this year. Gianni Jetzer, curator-at-large at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, is heading the section for the fifth year in a row.

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Stan Douglas reimagines a Joseph Conrad spy novel in 1970s Portugal Related Press Stan Douglas reimagines a Joseph Conrad spy novel in 1970s Portugal Hyperallergic : 16 March 2016

LONDON — Canadian artist Stan Douglas is known for appropriating film and literature genres to create context for his elaborate mise-en-scènes and sophisticated projects. His latest video, The Secret Agent (2015), recently premiered in the UK at the Victoria Miro gallery, following the exhibition Interregnum at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre...

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Stan Douglas at Victoria Miro, London Related Press Stan Douglas at Victoria Miro, London Flash Art : 14 March 2016

Stan Douglas’s new video installation The Secret Agent comprises six projectors and screens arranged in two facing lines of three, with the audience occupying the space between. While watching Douglas’s espionage drama, audience members turn 180 degrees as action or dialogue shifts from one side of the auditorium to the other.At...

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In Video & Audio

Episode 3 | Stan Douglas and Jason Moran Related Video & Audio Episode 3 | Stan Douglas and Jason Moran David Zwirner : 25 July 2018

A conversation about collaboration and the obsessive power of good music—touching on Netflix, Kendrick Lamar, and what it's like to play with Miles Davis.In the third episode of Dialogues: The David Zwirner Podcast, photographer and multimedia artist Stan Douglas speaks with MacArthur Award-winning pianist and composer Jason...

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