Talks & Events
Film/Video Screening

Twenty Four Twenty Four: Douglas Gordon and Miles Greenberg

18 Jun 2024 6-8pm

Albion Jeune
London W1W 8BP


Albion Jeune is pleased to present Twenty Four Twenty Four: Douglas Gordon and Miles Greenberg, a continuous screening of Miles Greenberg’s twenty-four-hour durational performance, Oysterknife (2020) alongside Douglas Gordon’s film, 24 Hour Psycho (1993).

The exhibition highlights the diverse approaches and perspectives of both artists in their exploration of the human body’s physiological relationship to time and space. Viewers can experience both seminal films inside the gallery, during opening hours, and through the glass façade when the space is closed. 

In Gordon’s film, the artist presents a version of Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho (1960) slowed down to a duration of twenty-four hours. 24 Hour Psycho marked the start of the artist’s ongoing interest in doubles: altering, monumentalizing, and alienating the iconic cultural images that shape our memories. The footage – devoid of sound, so that all concentration is focused upon a single frame – brings out the sculptural quality of Hitchcock’s famously controlled movie: blacks, silvery greys, and crisps whites, which have a classical beauty despite the shocking violence of the titular psycho. Theatrical elements of suspense, climax and turning point disappear, transforming Hitchcock’s film into a pure time-image free of narrative function.

Where Gordon’s installation questions the nature of authorship, Greenberg’s Oysterknife documents his own 2020 performance piece. The film shows Greenberg walking atop a flat conveyor belt, for an uninterrupted twenty-four hours in isolation, inside a black box in Montreal, Canada. It was the artist’s most austere and demanding exploration of ritual. Epic in its endurance, introspection and athleticism, the performance is a meditation on the physical and mental limitations of the body, creating space for unmediated automatic movement.

In a story about his work in The New York Times published on March 5, 2021, Greenberg explains his vision behind the work: “Oysterknife is my love letter to the performance art of the 1970s, and more specifically to the great Black pioneers of endurance such as Senga Nengudi, Pope.L and David Hammons. Endurance work, at a certain point, necessarily involves a degree of spectacle around bodily deterioration. I feel my body being consumed every day. I’m within my comfort zone so long as I have agency over the poetics of that consumption. But here, I wanted to let go of that, just to see what would happen. This is real physical pain — it always is — but this time, that pain isn’t wrapped up in metaphor.”

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