Douglas Gordon

From May 6th to September 4th, 2011

Star Trek : Predictable Incident
in Unfamiliar Surroundings

Douglas Gordon’s video installation Star Trek, Predictable Incident in Unfamiliar Surroundings (1995) is based on excerpts from the famous American television series Star Trek, rare scenes featuring the hero of the series, Captain Kirk, kissing one of the women aboard his spaceship.

Refilmed by the artist, the scenes were slowed down, enlarged and edited in a loop with the sound cut. Gordon focused on the iconographical motif of the kiss, a key and quasi-clichéd motif in the audiovisual industry, so as to juggle with the codes of representation. Captain Kirk, the manly and charming archetypal American hero of the 1960s, is in turn transformed, through Gordon’s sleight of hand, into a seducer, a sexual predator consumed by lust and a man enslaved to the wiles of a femme fatale. These “kiss” scenes, whose erotic elements and muted violence are usually lost amid a flow of television images, return here like a repressed memory and reveal all the seductive power of images. The runof- the-mill video projector, sitting on beer cartons, conjures up the entire “home cinema” universe, with its images of popular culture whose proximity increases their impact tenfold.

Presented upstairs on the first floor of the Hôtel Biron, Gordon’s video installation, through its principle of borrowing and repetition, echoes and prolongs the exhibition “Works in Progress, Rodin and the Ambassadors” and leads visitors further into their exploration of images.