Tacita Dean - Antigone Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart
In light of recent developments concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), events, exhibitions and talks are subject to change.
Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart hosts the Swiss premiere of Antigone (2018), Tacita Dean’s most complex work to date. The presentation of the hour-long, anamorphic 35mm film is contextualized by other films, photographs, photogravures, and chalk drawings.
Antigone revolves around the name ‘Antigone’ and how it resonates, not only in Greek literary history, but also in Dean’s own life. Antigone is the name of Dean’s older sister so it was one of the first words she ever learned. ‘Antigone’ is also the eponymous heroine in the Theban trilogy of plays by the Greek tragedian Sophocles, which led Dean to intertwine her own story with the mythological cosmic order of classical antiquity.
The screening of Antigone is complemented by a small collection of works by Dean that closely relate to this film, as well as a recent large-scale blackboard drawing, Chalk Fall (2018) and slate works, which include a recent drawing, Cynthia Teeming—Cynthia being a full moon—taken from a line in Metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell’s poem, Eyes and Tears.
The exhibition continues with an installation of a group of short 16mm films shown together for the first time: Ear on a Worm (2017), made in relation to Leonard Cohen’s song Bird on a Wire. Driving around Los Angeles, Dean often started to incant the song’s opening lines when seeing birds sitting on the multitude of telegraph wires that straddle the city. The challenge was to film a bird for the full 3 minutes and 28 seconds length of the song. A Cloud makes itself (2020) watches a cloud form and un-form in the deep azure of an LA sky and Providence (2018) is a silent duet between actor David Warner and hummingbirds. And showing for the first time is a new series of hand-drawn lithographs called LA Magic Hour (2019-2021) produced with print publishers Gemini GEL.
Screening times are available daily and hourly from 11 - 5 pm. Be sure to save the date of Sept. 20, when Dean will be in conversation with Ute Holl at Kunstmuseum Basel Neubau.