United Kingdom, 1965
Tacita Dean studied at the Falmouth School of Art, the Supreme School of Art (Athens), and the Slade School of Fine Art (London). Though her training was in painting, Dean has worked in drawing, film and sound. Her drawings often take the form of storyboards, and the narrative character of this format extends to all her output. Her pieces, though stand-alone works in their own right, are often linked and contain common references to events, places and specific characters that form a growing web of interconnections. Dean is drawn to the obsolete, to the mystery that lies behind some stories, to ideas like personal struggle, failure and endurance. As the artist has said on more than one occasion, all her work explores different notions of time, and film, as a discipline and a material, allows her to work with time in a very physical way. Gellért (1998) is a looped film presented as a rear projection. Made at the public baths in Budapest, it consists of a series of fixed shots showing the activities of the women using the baths. The entire piece unfolds in the various spaces inside the baths with no connection to the outside world, so the viewer has no sense of time passing. Fernweh (2009) is a gravure project in eight parts based on four nineteenth-century postcards that for Dean evoke Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Italian journey. The result is an improbable landscape that lies between reality and fiction. The title, Fernweh, is a German word that means ‘a longing to travel, to get away from the place where one finds oneself’.