Douglas Gordon

Douglas Gordon’s undergroundoverheard is one of several artworks commissioned by Crossrail Art Programme for the Elizabeth line. Situated in the Dean Street entrance to the Elizabeth line at Tottenham Court Road station, Gordon’s new artwork comprises a video on a large screen seen by thousands of customers each day as they descend the escalators to the platforms.

The looped video builds on Gordon’s renowned text-based artworks that use short statements to make the viewer or listener speculate, including “I forgive you,” “Nothing will ever be the same” and “It’s better to know.” Undergroundoverheard puts these texts into video format for the first time, with translations into many of the most spoken languages of the people who make London the dynamic, multicultural city that it is, reflecting the vibrancy of Soho and the international audiences that pass through the area on the Elizabeth line.

The texts appear and disappear on the screen, travelling through the space from top to bottom and side to side, reflecting the transience of people travelling. Conceived from the late 1980s through to the present, the deceptively simple yet emotionally charged statements were previously installed onto architecture such as museum walls or communicated via mail and telephone.

The public commission was unveiled on 1 February 2024 alongside a new solo exhibition of the artist’s work near the station at Gagosian gallery, Grosvenor Hill, London, until 15 March 2024. All I need is a little bit of everything features numerous text works, many also translated for the first time into multiple languages, and the encyclopaedic installation Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now… (1999–).

Commissioned in 2018 as part of The Crossrail Art Foundation’s public art programme for the Elizabeth line with the support of Gagosian.