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Doug Aitken

Born 1968, Redondo Beach (CA), United States.
Lives and works in Los Angeles, United States.

«Broken Screen: Expanding the Image, Breaking the Narrative is not just the title of a 2006 book by Doug Aitken; it also sums up his artistic agenda. The screen is broken because Aitken seeks to expand the image using multiple projections, effectively breaking the conventions of cinematic narration. To this end, Aitken leaves the interior of the museum, and projects onto its facades. sleepwalkers (2007) is a parallel projection showing the action of five people, all of whom depart from normality by performing ecstatic movements. In migration (2008), four projections show hotel and motel rooms being taken over, not by American people but by American animals. The films operate on a multi-narative level, insofar as the parallel projections relate to one another and create interfaces and synchronicities. Aitken's artistic references are on the one hand, the expanded cinema of the 1960s and its use of multiple projections in the attempt to go beyond the visual one way street of the film theatre, and, on the other, an aesthetic derived from Hollywood productions as well as from music videos, of which he has made several, for artists such as Iggy Pop and Fatboy Slim. What comes as a surprise is the broad range of media in which Aitken realizes his artworks. Although his current focus is on outdoor multiple projections and photography, in k-n-o-c-k-o-u-t (2007) he constructed an interactive music table, and in silent pavilion (2008) an architectural structure with an exterior that reflect its surroundings and sound-absorbing interior that can be used as a place of contemplation; here one can escape life's diffuse din - a topic to which Aitken responds in such diverse ways in many of his works.» Holger Lund