A still from Stan Douglas's video Doppelgänger, dated 2019.

“Stan Douglas’ riff on alternative realities has us seeing double”

Wallpaper, review by Jessica Klingelfuss

History is fickle; those who write it are fickler still. The slippage between truth and fiction has been a long-standing preoccupation for the Canadian artist Stan Douglas, whose video installation Doppelgänger traces two parallel timelines, each as seemingly plausible as the other. Set in an alternative present, Doppelgänger is displayed across two square-format, translucent screens—both of which can be viewed from either side. A looped narrative unfolds in vignettes that depicts concurrent events occurring in worlds that are light years apart.

The protagonist, an astronaut named Alice, is teleported to a spaceship bound for a distant planet—as is her clone. Then, along with her ship the Hermes II, she returns suddenly and inexplicably. The aftermath of Alice’s mission ‘failure’ (in fact, she has arrived in a world where everything is the reverse of what she once knew) and her reception back on Earth plays out across the two screens. In one reality, Alice is lauded and received compassionately, where is treated to B12 vitamins injections and bed rest. In the other, she is considered a hostile alien, quarantined and interrogated.

Read the full review in Wallpaper

Stan Douglas: Doppelgänger is on view at 537 West 20th Street, New York, through February 22, 2020. 

Image: Stan Douglas, still from Doppelgänger, 2019 

 

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