Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
Ideas? Technical issues?
» Feedback to a-n
Tate Modern, London
11 October 2011 - 11 March 2012
Reviewed by: Rosemary Shirley »
Tacita Dean is well known for producing luscious films that capture atmospheric places, thick with the ghosts of narrative. Her richly hued imagery the deeply chromed aesthetic made possible is a product of Dean’s fidelity to the medium of film. However, as her most recent piece for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern makes clear, her interests extend beyond by filmic process. In this work, called simply Film, Dean works with the materiality of the medium itself, in what feels like an object lesson in its magical potentiality and structural boundaries.
Film breaks one cinematic convention after another to create what essentially amounts to a portrait of a medium. The familiar widescreen format is flipped ninety degrees using the spectacular height of the space to create a monolithic projection. The sprocket holes which edge the film strip are visible throughout, revealing the mechanics of projection. Frames are hand tinted, cut, perforated and layered, in a collage of images. Some - like waterfalls or escalators - reference the movement of film through the projector; others mirror the space of the Turbine Hall with its windows like strips of film.
Like many of us Dean finds herself in love with a medium that is disappearing. Film is fast being replaced by digital video and projection. This film is not necessarily about nostalgia, rather it is a reminder that the vagaries of consumer technology are deeply intertwined with our visual and temporal conceptualisations of the world.
Rosemary Shirley is Interface editor, she writes about art for magazines, websites and galleries, she teaches at Goldsmiths, Birkbeck and University of Sussex.
Tate Modern »
No one has commented on this article yet, why not be the first?
To post a comment you need to login