Video artwork by acclaimed artist Stan Douglas bringing to life Columbia Records 30th Street Studio
Since the late 1980s, Stan Douglas has created films and photographs—and more recently theatre productions and other multidisciplinary projects—that investigate the parameters of their medium. His ongoing inquiry into technology's role in image-making, and how those mediations infiltrate and shape collective memory has resulted in works that are at once specific in their historical and cultural references and broadly accessible.
A close companion to Douglas’s series of photographs, Disco Angola (2012), and marking the first time the artist has filmed on location in New York, Luanda-Kinshasa (2013) mines Douglas’s fascination with the African influence on 1970s music and culture in New York.
Unfolding like an endless jam session, Luanda-Kinshasa is set in a reconstruction of the famed recording studio located in Manhattan Midtown and operated by Columbia Records between 1949 and 1981 in an abandoned Armenian church on East 30th Street. The studio was popular with artists working across all genres, and was used to record such seminal records as Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue (1959), Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited (1965), and Pink Floyd’s The Wall (1979), Glenn Gould’s Bach: The Goldberg Variations (1955), Vladimir Horowitz’s Complete Masterworks Recordings (1962–1973), as well as albums by Leonard Bernstein, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, and many others.
Since 1990 Stan Douglas’s films, videos and photographs have been seen in exhibitions internationally, including Documentas IX, X and XI (1992, 1997, 2002), the 1995 Carnegie International, the 1995 Whitney Biennial, the 1997 Skulptur Projekte Münster and three Venice Biennales (1990, 2001, 2005). Solo exhibitions of his work have been have been presented by the most prominent museums in Europe and North America and a comprehensive survey, Past Imperfect: Works 1986–2007, was mounted by the Württembergischer Kunstverein and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in 2007. Most recently, Stan Douglas has been named as one of the artists included in 58th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, curated by Ralph Rugoff.
In 2008 Douglas was awarded the Bell Award in Video Art and he received the 2016 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. Other notable awards include the third annual Scotiabank Photography Award (2013) and the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, New York (2012). Douglas is represented by David Zwirner, New York and Victoria Miro Gallery, London.
In collaboration with M+, West Kowloon Cultural District
Image: Stan Douglas, Luanda-Kinshasa (2013), film still. Courtesy the artist, David Zwirner Gallery, New York/London and Victoria Miro, London