Tacita Dean’s film portraits express something that neither painting nor photography can capture. They are purely film. Dean‘s art is carried by a sense of history, time and place, light quality and the essence of film itself. The focus of her subtle but ambitious work is the truth of the moment, the film as a medium and the sensibilities of the individual. Dean’s solo exhibitions include Tate Britain, London; Schaulager, Basel; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Nicola Trussardi Foundation, Milan; and MUMOK, Vienna. She was awarded the Hugo Boss Prize in 2006 and the Kurt Schwitters Prize in 2009. In 2011, she made FILM as part of the Unilever series of commissions in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, which marked the beginning of her campaign to protect the medium of photochemical film (savefilm.org). Other recent exhibitions include dOCUMENTA, Venice Biennale, Berlin Biennale and Biennale of Sydney.
Ann Arbor Film Festival Screenings
In conjunction with Tacita Dean’s visit, the Ann Arbor Film Festival presents two screenings at 9:15 pm on March 25 and 26 at the Michigan Theater.
March 25, 9:15 pm — Michigan Theater
The first of two programs featuring films by Tacita Dean, a visual artist who has worked in a variety of media including drawing, photography and sound, and is best known for her work in 16mm film. Films include The Green Ray (2001, 3 min, 16mm), a single continuous roll of 16mm film where Dean attempts to capture and document the rare phenomenon know as a “green ray”; Kodak (2006, 44 min, 16mm), shot in a Kodak factory in eastern France only weeks before its closure; and her most recent film, JG (2014, 26 min, 35mm) which was inspired by Dean’s correspondence with British author J.G. Ballard (1930−2009) regarding connections between his short story “The Voices of Time” (1960) and Robert Smithson’s iconic earthwork and film Spiral Jetty (1970).
March 26, 9:15 pm — Michigan Theater
The second of two programs will feature five works by Tacita Dean, who will be in attendance. Disappearance at Sea (1996, 14 min, 16mm anamorphic), Bubble House (1999, 9 min. 16mm), and Teignmouth Electron (2000, 7 min, 16mm) are from a series of works inspired by remarkable stories of personal encounters with the sea. The program concludes with two of Dean’s portrait films: Merce Cunningham performs STILLNESS (I) (2007, 4 min, 16mm), a portrait of legendary choreographer Cunningham, who was 88 at the time of filming and confined to a wheelchair as he choreographed John Cage’s silent 4’33. Edwin Parker (2011, 29 min, 16mm) is a portrait of the artist Cy Twombley, which Emily Deakin describes as “an awed testament to the ineffable process by which obsession, solitude, boredom, and repetition are transfigured in the studio.”
With support from the 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA).
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