Stan Douglas

(b. 1960)

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(1960– )

Canadian film and Video artist, born in Vancouver. The inspiration for his video installations tends to come from theatre and cinema: the plays of Samuel Beckett, the films of Orson Welles, and 1960s television drama have been strong influences. Nonetheless the presentation of the works is geared to the gallery rather than to cinema or television. Sometimes he uses multiple screen projection and his work is always shown on a continuous film loop, so that spectators will see the work differently depending on when they arrive. This is a deliberate effect planned by Douglas, whose videos tend to ambiguous and fractured narratives. Win, Place, or Show (1998, Tate) depicts an argument between two dockworkers ranging from horse racing to conspiracy theories which culminates in a fight. Each protagonist is given his own screen but the projection is timed so that a wide variety of different combinations of event is possible. Inconsolable Memories (1968) is set in Cuba and is loosely based on the Cuban film Memories of Underdevelopment (1968). Using two film loops projected simultaneously, Douglas says of it: ‘You're not going to watch a film or story. You're going to a place.’

Further Reading

S. Watson, Stan Douglas (1998)

Subjects: Art.

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