Douglas Gordon • 24 Hour Psycho

Museum Hosts ’24 Hour Psycho’ — Literally
February 29, 200412:00 AM ET
Heard on All Things Considered

Douglas Gordon’s ’24 Hour Psycho’ Freezes actress Janet Leigh in Psycho, the Hitchcock classic.
Susan Stone

For 24 hours straight, Washington’s Hirshhorn Museum screened Scottish artist Douglas Gordon’s video and installation work 24 Hour Psycho. The project slows Hitchcock’s classic 1960 film down to a glacial pace, stretching what was originally a 109-minute movie into a day-long art event.

Gordon, whose other work includes duelling projections of the “You talkin’ to me?” segment of Taxi Driver and a series of self-portrait still photographs, was on hand for the marathon projection. The event, part of the first North American survey of the Scottish artist’s work, drew the curious and the dedicated alike — some for a few minutes, and some for far longer.

NPR’s Susan Stone visited the museum at several points during the movie — including its pivotal shower scene.

Jillian McDonald

Jillian McDonald is a Canadian artist who lives in Brooklyn and dreams of the North.

Solo shows and projects include the Esker Foundation in Calgary, Air Circulation and Moti Hasson in New York, The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Centre Clark in Montréal, and Hallwalls in Buffalo. Her work was featured in group exhibitions and festivals at The Chelsea Museum and The Whitney Museum’s Artport in New York, The Edith Russ Haus for Media Art in Germany, The International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Venezuela, The Sundance Film Festival in Utah, La Biennale de Montréal, and the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Basse-Normandie in France.

She was featured in a 2013 radio documentary by Paul Kennedy on CBC’s IDEAS, and reviewed in The New York Times, Art Papers, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Border Crossings, and Canadian Art. Critical discussion appears in books including The Transatlantic Zombie (2015), by Sarah Juliet Lauro and Deconstructing Brad Pitt (2014), edited by Christopher Schaberg.

McDonald has received grants and commissions from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts, Turbulence, The Verizon Foundation, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Experimental Television Center, and Pace University. In 2012 she received the Glenfiddich Canadian Art Prize, and she has attended residencies at The Headlands Center for the Arts in California, Lilith Performance Studio in Sweden, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace in New York, and Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta. In 2016 she is in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space on Governor’s Island, NYC; the Klondike Institue of Arts and Culture in Dawson City, The Yukon; and at Plug In ICA’s Summer Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Cady Noland

“Oozewald” by Cady Noland, 1989

Cady Noland was born in 1956 in Washington, D.C., the daughter of painter Kenneth Noland. After earning a BA from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, she settled in Manhattan. She began to create artworks with found objects in 1983 and had her first solo exhibition five years later at White Columns in New York. Her collages, sculptures, and mixed-media installations examine the underbelly of the American psyche, specifically our fascination with celebrities, violence, and psychopathological behavior. Her aesthetic vocabulary integrates strategies historically associated with Pop art, Minimalism, and Post-Minimalism, with its specific antecedents in the anti-form and scatter sculpture of the late 1960s.

Noland’s early work incorporates press photographs, newspaper copy, and advertisements. Guns (1986–87) is a black-and-white photocopied image of a pistol leaning against a can of Diet Pepsi riddled with bullet holes. A collage of images along the right edge offers instructions on how to reload the weapon. Firearms also figure in Noland’s series of cowboy sculptures. Cowboy Blank With Showboat Costume (1990) presents the silhouetted aluminum cutout of a cowboy punctured by four holes. He crouches and discharges his weapon toward the viewer, while sporting a delicate bow tie around his hat as well as an ostrich plume and bandanna in his belt. Injured and feminized, disabled by gunfire, Noland’s cowboys are impotent. The artist addressed the same theme in Saw Action/Duty (1986), an orthopedic walker draped with police equipment.

In the late 1980s Noland began a series of sculptures and installations examining the masculine underpinnings of the American dream, embodied in men’s beer consumption. Crate of Beer (1989) is a wire-mesh basket full of empty Budweiser cans. In her 1989 untitled installation at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, Noland stacked six-packs of Budweiser atop one another. Metal scaffolding transformed these mountains of alcohol into a construction site. For the artist, Bud cans are as potent an American symbol as Old Glory, both being red, white, and blue. Flags, too, populate Noland’s work. In The American Trip (1988), Cheap and Fast (1989), and related works, the flag is draped or hung, limp or pierced, like Noland’s cowboys.

Also in the late 1980s, Noland delved deeper into the disturbed American psyche and focused on the public’s prurient interest in violence, a phenomenon exemplified in the media’s transformation of criminals into celebrities. For Noland, such a perverted process is symptomatic of the compulsion in American culture to objectify individuals for purposes of entertainment. Tanya as a Bandit (1989) and Untitled Patty Hearst (1989) address this phenomenon. Both consist of cutout press photos of Patty Hearst, enlarged and silkscreened onto sheets of aluminum. In the former, the publishing heiress-turned-terrorist brandishes a machine gun, having joined the cause of her kidnappers. The latter documents her conversion, showing images of Hearst as communicant, cheerleader, revolutionary, and bourgeois housewife along with a photo of her grandfather, William Randolph Hearst, the inventor of yellow journalism.

In recent years, Noland has forsaken mass-media imagery in favor of a more sculptural vocabulary. Beltway Terror (1993–94) is a square of wood covered in smooth aluminum with five neat holes, resembling a pillory. Untitled (1999) consists of a piece of plywood supported by a set of white plastic barricades as used by police. While both works echo Minimalist geometric formalism, they also continue Noland’s exploration of the dysfunction of American culture in their allusion to torture, public humiliation, and physical confinement.

Cady Noland, Objectification Process, 1989

Solo exhibitions of Noland’s work have been organized by the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York (1994), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (1995), and Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut (1996). Her work has also appeared in Strange Abstraction: Robert Gober, Cady Noland, Philip Taaffe, Christopher Wool at the Touko Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo (1991), Documenta 9 (1992), and MONO: Olivier Mosset, Cady Noland at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich (1999). Noland lives and works in New York.