Doug Aitken: 100 Years

 
Reviewed by Adam Bell
100years1
 
He moves through the fluorescent glow of the night, a young man in harmony with the electric rhythms of the city.
 
His cinematic language radiates something abstract because it does not exist to serve as the narrative.
 
He is a half dreamer, half traveler, and his journeys—both real and imagined—circumscribe the territory of a new cinematic world in which space and time are fragmented, foreshortened, and warped.
 
His view of landscape in the plural is constantly mutating.
 
At some points he seems set free by this energy, at others a prisoner of forces beyond his control, a character in a film, but a film that is the entire world.
 
[He] creates a world in which the continuous movement of life is guided by images that tell us where to go and what to buy.
 
He becomes, in effect, compressed time, little more than pulse itself, a rapid-fire series of afterimages.
 
[He] is looking for a more authentic world.
 
He has disappeared into all that is around him.
 
He’s been living in this way for so long he no longer has a home to return to.
 
[He] is a ravenous hunter and collector who chooses the fragments he assembles both for whatever qualities they might have intrinsically and also for the associations they evoke.
 
They’re everywhere.
 
…thick blankets of ash…
 
Images of an overturned bulldozer…
 
An abandoned air-traffic control tower….
 
…obsolescence is seen in reverse…
 
…a hypothetical reservoir of potential…
 
…making static, even if just fleetingly, into signal.
 
It happens time and again….
 
Our lives are a film, which is constantly being exposed.
 
 

Kerry Brougher

Bice Curiger

Aaron Betksy

Doug Aitken

Tim Griffin

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Doug Aitken: 100 Years, (Rizzoli, 2014)
 
Images: Cover and interior of Doug Aitken: 100 Years

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