Douglas Gordon has proven himself a master of adaptation, bending the works of other artists through his own refractive lens. One of the most decorated artists of his time, he has stretched Hitchcock’s Psycho from two hours to twenty-four, he has set Taxi Driver‘s unsettling “You talking to me?” scene into a two-screen projection, and now, he’s taken his obsession with a novel by Scottish writer James Hogg (1770-1835) to new lengths. Gordon’s Confessions is an immersive environment based on The Memoirs and Private Confessions of a Justified Sinner, a narrative of shifting perspectives that traces a strict Calvinist young man’s descent into a series of murders. Gordon’s ingenious and disturbing work used the three levels of the Kunsthaus Bregenz, where it first appeared, to explore different sensory experiences of the story, from a printing room that produces the story’s pages on an industrial-age offset press to a black-light-shrouded space where the viewer only hears the story to an installation of large-format and silent film projections on the front and back of a diaphanous screen.
This catalogue, designed by Bruce Mau, echoes the format of the exhibition with three slipcased volumes that give the reader an experience comparable to that of the show.