DOUGLAS GORDON: The End of Civilisation

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Gagosian Gallery presents The End of Civilisation, a major film installation by Douglas Gordon.In The End of Civilisation, a grand piano burns at a remote site deep in the Cumbrian landscape. This lushly green and desolate locale overlooking the boundary between England and Scotland was once the border of the Roman Empire. The grand piano, emblematic of high culture as both a finely crafted instrument and a beautiful sculptural object, is destroyed at the primeval edge of civilization. With this symbolic conflagration, Gordon re-enacts an ancient local tradition of igniting beacons as an admonition or communication. Inspired in part by the journey of the 2012 Olympic torch across the British Isles, The End of Civilisation is both a celebration and a warning—of fire as a symbol of optimism and hope, but also of risk, danger, and destruction. The End of Civilisation is on view from September 8 to October 13, 2012, Gagosian Gallery, 522 West 21st Street, New York, NY