Friday, 14 November 2014

Stan Douglas

Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
November 7th-February 15th
When Stan Douglas' play, Helen Lawrence, played as part of this year's
Edinburgh International Festival, its live depiction of a post World
War Two film noir beamed against a a 3D photographic backdrop looked at
the class and racial divides of Vancouver's run-down Hogan's Alley
district, later cleaned up then razed in the name of urban renewal.

Hogan's Alley's 3D remains can be seen in Douglas' remarkable
large-scale image that forms part of his new show at Edinburgh's
Fruitmarket Gallery. Also on show will be Video, which recasts Orson
Welles' film of Kafka's The Trial with a Senegalese woman in the
Parisian suburb of La Courneuve, where some of the worst violence of
2005's Paris riots took place.

“Sarkozy was still Minister of the Interior when we shot the piece,”
says Douglas, “and his office tried to shut our production down, even
though we had made deals with the local mayor and local gangs. The
police were afraid we would start a riot, but in the end we were
allowed to shoot exteriors between 4am and 7am.”

The show will also feature Douglas' Corrupt Files series of “acts of
photographic disobedience,”
as well as his 1997 piece, Der Sandmann, which juxtaposes footage of an
urban garden in Potsdam outside Berlin alongside film of the building
site it later became.

“Der Sandmann came out of being in Berlin a few years after the Berlin
Wall came down,” Douglas explains. “As in Helen Lawrence, the setting
is one in which the urban fabric of a place is being radically
transformed. DDR buildings were being destroyed, Imperial Prussian ones
were being restored and there was an influx of western capital
intending to make nearby Wansee a luxury resort again. It felt like
multiple times were inhabiting the same space and that's what Der
Sandmann looks like.”

The List, November 2014


ends

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