Opening reception: Friday, January 10, 6 – 8 pm
Marian Goodman Gallery is delighted to announce a two-part exhibition of new work by Tacita Dean which will be on view from January 10th through February 8, 2003. In the North Gallery we will present an installation of works based upon Dean's discovery in 2002 of Marcel Broodthaers's former studio in Düsseldorf, Germany. In the South Gallery her film Fernsehturm, 2001, will be shown.
Thirty years ago, in a windowless basement studio in Düsseldorf, Marcel Broodthaers fitted out the Section Cinema of his famous imaginary museum. Tacita Dean rediscovers this space in her recent film, also entitled Section Cinema, 2002. The room is now a depot for the local museum but still bears the traces of Broodthaers's inscriptions on the walls. Presented on a loop, the film allows the viewer to endlessly observe the recesses of this familiar but improbable place, which is now full of model boats and antique chairs. The numbers, words and objects both define the identity of the space, and act as a paradigm for the exhibition as a whole, which includes two additional films, blackboard drawings, found postcards and a framed newspaper project. Dean's exhibition explores Broodthaers's use of found images and of film itself, probing his use of language and his attempt to see objects as images and to name them accordingly.
Dean has also made two large blackboard drawings named Chère petite soeur after Broodthaers's eponymous film. The film is of a found postcard, a drawing of a boat in rough sea, which Broodthaers filmed in positive and negative, and then used the handwritten note on the front of the postcard as both the subtitles and title to the work. Dean takes Chère petite soeur as the name of the boat, drawing an imagined sequel to the boat's plight at sea. Like storyboards for an unmade film, they echo Broodthaers's exploration of word and image, the imaginary and the real, and the static and cinematic. The white on black of the drawings plays with his use of negative/positive and are also mirrored by 'Diamond Ring', a small back-projected film shot at the final moment of a solar eclipse when the moon reveals the sun again.
Two further works in the exhibition dialogue with Broodthaers's love of existing images, language and numbers: Washington Cathedral is a series of more than 130 found postcards from the first half of the last century showing various imagined versions of the cathedral in Washington, DC before it was completed; and Palindrome, a newspaper project celebrating the palindromic date last year (in Europe): 20.02 2002, which was inspired by numbers painted by Broodthaers's on a beam in his studio. Finally, Dean has excavated her own past for two works, made but never released, eleven years ago in Prague, Czech Republic. Ztráta (Loss) is a short film of a lesson in the architectural faculty in the University of Prague where Czech words written on a blackboard are explained by subsequent actions in the film. Czech Photos is a series of over 326 unedited photographs presented in a box for intimate engagement. The black and white photographs show a city in the moments before radical change, already somehow out of date the second they were taken.
In the South Gallery, one of her most important films, Fernsehturm, 2001, filmed in Berlin's landmark Television Tower will be exhibited. Like Disappearance at Sea and Banewl, two earlier works shown at Marian Goodman Gallery, Fernsehturm is filmed in anamorphic format and resonates with Dean's cinematic vocabulary of changes in light and the transition from day to night.
Fernsehturm was filmed in Berlin in 2000, shortly after Dean had arrived in the city, the film is a further expression of Dean's fascination with the coexistence of the past and present, and her attraction to buildings that have never sat comfortably in their own time. The 'fernsehturm', very much still the symbol of former East Berlin, continues to carry its history in its very fabric and atmosphere. Explaining her fascination with the subject, Dean has written: "The Fernsehturm has become the beacon on my Berlin horizon. I look out for it wherever I am, in all weather, with its head so often lost in the low cloud or standing high above the city brilliantly catching the sun. I think it is beautiful; it excites me, yet so many people don't like it. … Like the perpetual rotation of the spacecraft in Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey', a conceit to maintain gravity on board ship, the Fernsehturm restaurant continues to turn almost imperceptibly like the movement of the planets in Space. It was visionary in its concept and a symbol of the future, and yet it is out of date. The Fernsehturm embodies the perfect anachronism. The revolving sphere in Space still remains our best image of the future, and yet it is firmly locked in the past: in a period of division and dissatisfaction on Earth that led to the belief that Space was an attainable and better place. As you sit up there at your table, opposite the person whom you are with, and with your back to the turn of the restaurant, you are no longer static in the present but moving with the rotation of the Earth backwards into the future. --Tacita Dean, Jan. 2001
Tacita Dean was born in Canterbury, England; she currently lives and works in Berlin. She has recently had one-person shows at: the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Tate Britain, London; Museo Serralves, Porto; Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and just received the much respected Aachen Kunstpreis 2002/Aachen Art Prize for 2002, awarded by the Freunde des Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany. She will have a solo exhibition at the ARC Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, opening in April 2003. The current installation was first shown this Fall at the Kunstverein für Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf.