AGYU’s Philip Monk wins writing award

Philip Monk, director and curator of the Art Gallery of York University, has been awarded the 2004 Ontario Association of Art Galleries’ curatorial writing award for “best book by a single author” for his book Double-Cross: The Hollywood Films of Douglas Gordon.

Left: Philip Monk

The work represents the first monograph on the contemporary British artist Douglas Gordon, one of the most important artists working with film. The writing and design of this 272-page book mimics the operations of Gordon’s video projections. The book examines Douglas Gordon’s intervention into Hollywood film, focusing on works by Gordon whose source films developed within the Hollywood tradition of film noir. Although Gordon works within extant bodies of film, he acts as an author mirroring his own themes in those of his host films. His fictional world is carefully structured with its formal interventions focusing attention on the themes of madness and the double, the chiasma of fate, and the binding of trust and guilt. Beyond good and evil, Gordon’s work is all about dissemblance.

A co-publication with The Power Plant, the book follows the exhibition of the same name curated by Monk at The Power Plant (Sept. 23 – Nov. 19, 2000), and was supported by patrons Sandra Simpson, Jay Smith and Laura Rapp, and Steven and Lynda Latner. “This publication,” remarked the OAAG jury, “represents some of the most significant writing on this widely appreciated artist and makes a major contribution to the international discourse surrounding contemporary film and video art installations.”

Douglas Gordon was born in Glasgow in 1966. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1996, the Premio 2000 at the Venice Biennale in 1997, and the Hugo Boss Prize in 1998. Select solo exhibitions of his work include: the Hayward Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Power Plant, Toronto; Tate Liverpool; Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, and, most recently, a survey exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington.

Established in 1978, the annual OAAG Awards of Merit recognize excellence and achievement in programming and partnerships in public art galleries throughout the province of Ontario.(See the OAAG Web site for more information about the awards.) This is Philip Monk’s second OAAG curatorial writing award.

Double Cross: The Hollywood Films of Douglas Gordon is distributed by Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. (DAP) and is available at the AGYU bookstore.