‘My relationship to film begins at the that moment of shooting, and ends in the moment of projection. Along the way there are several stages of magical transformation that imbue the work with varying layers of intensity.’
Marked by her restless curiosity, the work of Tacita Dean (b. 1965, Canterbury) invites viewers to explore the depths and limits of her subject matter and the medium she uses to present it. Her eloquent 16 and 35mm analogue films are carried by a sense of history, time and place, and a fascination with the unique qualities of film itself. When Dean was commissioned to produce a work for Tate modern’s Turbine Hall in 2011, the result was the monumental FILM. A meditation on the history and limits of the medium, she used techniques of masking and rewinding that enabled her to expose the same piece of film several times in order produce images within the camera.
In 2018 Dean’s work was the subject of concurrent exhibitions across three London museums: Landscape at the Royal Academy, which featured the artist’s monumental blackboard drawings as well as the 35mm film Antigone; Portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, showing her 16mm depictions of David Hockney and Cy Twombly amongst others; and Still Life at the National Gallery where she curated an in-depth exhibition, assembling work by herself and others, contemporary and historical, and guided by her perspective of the genre. In 2020, Dean was commissioned to create the set design and costumes for a new ballet, The Dante Project. A collaboration with the Royal Ballet’s choreographer Wayne McGregor and conductor-composer Thomas Adès, the ballet was presented in autumn 2021 at the Royal Opera House, London.