Making Eyes

Douglas Gordon’s Tour Visuals for Rufus Wainwright

“When most I wink, then do my eyes best see.” So erudite singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright (son to Loudon, brother to Martha) cites Shakespeare’s sonnets as he rhapsodizes about his new collaboration with Douglas Gordon, the darkly inventive Scottish film artist responsible for the super slo-mo Hitchcock tribute 24 Hour Psycho and epic football film Zidane (featuring music from Glasgow’s foremost post-rockers Mogwai).  The duo conspired to produce these haunting tour visuals, in which Wainwright flutters his kohl-splashed eye for a camera shooting at 1,000 frames per second, after his partner Jörn Weisbrodt (creative director at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center) suggested they work together. The film, designed to accompany Wainwright’s new album All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, was initially inspired by the record’s titular temptress—first immortalized in the plays of Frank Wedekind, now a personal symbol for Wainwright—but soon “dissolved and disintegrated,” he says, leaving only his eye slowly blinking in a sea of blackness. “It’s become very simple and very, very powerful and tragic also,” says Wainwright, who felt an instant connection with Gordon when they first met several years ago. “He has this strange immediacy and blunt honesty that instantly endears you to him. He really sees through whatever’s going on, to your core. And I definitely had that experience with him." The above clip, “Sonnet 10,” is one of 12 that will be projected behind Rufus as he performs on tour. His All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu tour kicks off April 11 in the UK.
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