Doug Aitken's great archive

The American artist turns to a list of cultural legends for art-related answers
Doug Aitken, Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken – The Source (2012)
Doug Aitken, Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken – The Source (2012)


 

American artist Doug Aitken's oeuvre includes photography, sculpture and architecture. He's made a music instrument out of his house (which he then proceeded to play with family and friends); he's transformed a whole Manhattan block into an expansive cinematic experience; and he's opened a 'sonic pavillion' in the forested hills of Brazil. More recently he's turned to film, one of which, Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken – The Source, is rightly regarded as a highlight of the current Liverpool Biennial. 

Aitken has travelled the world to interview an incredible number of legendary artists, actors and musicians, and asked them all two very specific questions: What is the source of a creative idea? Where does it start and how is it realised? The filmed responses, as you might expect, vary in focus and detail depending on the individual, but they're all consistently generous, intimate and emotive.

Jack Black in conversation, Doug Aitken, Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken – The Source (2012)

Jack Black in conversation, Doug Aitken, Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken – The Source (2012)

Photographer Stephen Shore, musician Jack Black and actor Tilda Swinton are among myriad prominent cultural figures whose interviews Aitken has edited into intriguing four minute snippets played out in a pavilion next to Tate Liverpool.

So why these particular people? Aitken sees the work as an archive of brilliant thoughts and ideas. Who else but David Adjaye, Mike Kelley, William Eggleston and Jacques Herzog (among countless others) would he have asked to provide such wisdom and genius?

Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken – The Source runs until 13 January 2013 at Tate Liverpool.

 

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