June 13, 2012

Douglas Gordon Kidswear Explores Dualities Of Authenticity And Knockoffery


At first, I'm like, wait, what? Are you kidding? Why would Douglas Gordon make limited edition infant bodysuits for the New Museum in the first place? But then of course, the obvious answer was the right one: he had a kid.


So in addition to all the catalogue copy about Gordon's work exploring "dualities: temptation and fear, life and death, good and evil, and innocence and guilt," it's also about staring at a 1yo in the crib and imagining what's going on in that little, evolving brain. And then literally projecting your own thoughts right onto the kid. Pretty straightforward, really.


What's less clear, however, is why the "I Forgive You." (2010) onesie was produced in an edition of 1,000 and is available all over, while the more interesting, double-sided, "It's Better To Know./It's Better Not To Know." was only done as an edition of 500, and is barely mentioned anywhere except on the website of Third Drawer Down, the Australian museum shop company which produced the editions. It's almost as big an art world mystery as the size of the white bodysuit.


Or what the hey is going on in the onesie department at MoCA in LA. Because MoCA sells "I Forgive You." as a "baby suit by artist Douglas Gordon. Edition of 1000" for $45. But they also sell a romper and a kids T-shirt which "feature text by the artist Douglas Gordon" for just $9.99.


So did the shop really knock off Gordon's edition by slapping more of his own Deep Thoughts on the museum's private label apparel? Did Gordon forgive them? Or is it better not to know?

Douglas Gordon Infant Body Suit, It Is Better To Know, size unknown, ed. 500, $AU55 [thirddrawerdown.com]
Douglas Gordon [sic] infant romper, It's Only Just Begun, $9.99 [mocastore.org]
Douglas Gordon [sic] kids t-shirt, Nothing Will Ever Be The Same, 2T-6T, $9.99 [mocastore.org]

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