Douglas Gordon’s End of Civilisation burns brightly

Turner prize-winning Scottish artist Douglas Gordon recently displayed the ‘End of Civilisation’ at the Tyne Theatre and ArtAV were there to help. The two screen work features a grand piano burning in the remote Cumbrian countryside.

Using two Barco HD8’s ArtAV was able to light up the traditional theatre with this two piece work. The artwork was played back using ArtAV’s custom Hyperdeck Sync Unit and a K8 speaker system was used to fill the auditorium with the expansive soundtrack.

Inspired in part by the journey of the 2012 Olympic torch across the British Isles, The End of Civilisation is both a celebration and a warning—of fire as a symbol of optimism and hope, but also of risk, danger, and destruction.

One screen shows a close recording of the burning piano, from the beginning of the fire to burning up and leaving only ashes. The other screen displays a panning shot of the remote borders countryside; occasionally, licks of flame or wisps of smoke are seen indicating the position of the burning instrument.


The End of Civilisation was commissioned by Great North Run Culture and Locus+, the film was funded by Arts Council England. It is part of the London 2012 Festival.

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