Douglas Gordon: I had nowhere to go: Portrait of a displaced person

Douglas Gordon Gagosian

During Frieze London, from October 3 to 7, Gagosian Britannia Street will screen Douglas Gordon’s 2016 film I had nowhere to go: Portrait of a displaced person. The film is an intimate portrait of Jonas Mekas, the legendary poet, film critic, risk-taking curator, “the godfather of the American avant-garde cinema”—and, at 94 years old, among the remaining few to have escaped and survived Nazi persecution.

Recently shown at documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel, as well as a circuit of film festivals, I had nowhere to go has been celebrated for its sparse materiality and its reflection on the narrative of history. Gordon’s film work has redefined expectations of the relationship between sound, text, time, and the moving image—as in his 1993 film 24 Hour Psycho, which stretched the duration of Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) from the traditional feature film length of 109 minutes to twenty-four hours. By contrast, I had nowhere to go proceeds with one minute of real time per year of Mekas’s momentous life, including his journey from a forced labour camp and a dilaboured persons centre during the Second World War, and his emigration from Lithuania to New York. The viewer is plunged into collective and individual spaces of memory via long, imageless stretches over which Mekas narrates excerpts from his memoir (from which the film takes its title). With an immersive sound environment and intermittent, fleeting images that stand in evocative juxtaposition to Mekas’s anecdotes, Gordon’s film reveals in its subject a puckish humor that outweighs despair, and an unabated curiosity for life that both illuminates and softens the sadness of his subject matter.

Duration 03 October 2017 - 07 October 2017
Times Daily screenings: 10AM, 12PM, 2PM, 4PM Evening screening: Friday, October 6, 6PM
Cost Free
Venue Gagosian (Britannia Street)
Address 6-24 Britannia Street, London, WC1X 9JD
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