Marian Goodman Gallery

Tacita Dean: JG

Tacita Dean: JG

Wednesday, January 15, 2014Saturday, March 1, 2014

24 West 57th Street
Paris, France

Opening Tuesday 14 January, 6-8 pm

PARIS, 3 January 2014 - Marian Goodman Gallery in Paris is delighted to announce an exhibition by Tacita Dean featuring her new film JG. The opening will be held at the gallery on Tuesday 14 January from 6 to 8 pm.

JG, a 35 mm color and black and white anamorphic film with optical sound of 26 1/2 minutes, will be screened in a continuous loop in the basement of the gallery. On the ground floor we will exhibit a body of works relating to salt lakes landscapes: a group of 14 photographs from the film JG, salinated objects from the Great Salt Lake (Utah, United States) and Quatemary, a large scale etching in eight parts depicting an imaginary and enigmatic landscape.

Inspired by her correspondence with J.G. Ballard, Tacita Dean developed the idea for her new film JG. However, the origin of the project goes back to 1997 when, traveling to the United States, Tacita Dean decided to visit Rozel Point in order to see Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. She didn’t manage to locate the Jetty but instead created a sound piece entitled Trying to Find the Spiral Jetty, in which she recorded this experience.

Tacita Dean’s fascination with this emblematic work led her to make contact with J.G. Ballard, also a great admirer of Smithson. Dean and Ballard exchanged a series of letters in which they discussed the striking resemblance between the Spiral Jetty and Ballard’s short story The Voices of Time. The discovery of Ballard’s book in Robert Smithson’s own library confirmed this connection between the two men.

The unsolved mystery surrounding Smithson’s work prompted Ballard to write to Dean, just before his death in 2009, and advised her to “treat it as a mystery that your film will solve”.1

Shot on several locations in both Utah and California, the images of salt lakes became entwined with Smithson’s Jetty and Ballard’s short story. Tacita Dean’s real interest is to film time: “Both works have an analog heart, not just because they were made or written when spooling and reeling were the means to record and transmit images and sound, but because their spiraling is analogous to time itself.”2*

In order to “mix landscape and time in the same frame”3, Tacita Dean used a special technique she developed for her work FILM shown in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in 2012. This new technique used various purpose made masks of different shapes to mask the gate aperture rendering an effect of stenciling, layering the filmed images. JG is an astonishing kaleidoscopic experimental film, which could never have been made using a digital format, its beauty is unique to the abilities of analogue film.

JG has been commissioned by the Arcadia University Gallery of Art and funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Tacita Dean was born in 1965 in England, she currently lives in Berlin. For twenty years she has produced a unique body of work including drawings, found objects, prints, sound and photo installations and above all films. She has received numerous international prizes including The Hugo Boss Prize (2006) and the Kurt Schwitters Prize (2009). Dean also participated in the Venice Biennale in 2003, 2005 and 2013 and (d)OCUMENTA 13 (2012). Her work has been shown internationally in institutions such as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC (2001), Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2003), the Schaulager, Basel (2006), New Museum, New York (2008), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Spain (2010), Tate Modern, London (2011-2012).

Just recently Dean has had two major solo shows firstly at Melbourne’s Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and secondly in Brazil at Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro, which is on show until January 28, 2014.

1 J.G. Ballard in a letter to Tacita Dean dated 4 December 2007.
2 Tacita Dean in «JG a film project by Tacita Dean», Arcadia University Gallery of Art, 2013 p.15.
3 Tacita Dean in «Tacita Dean takes on Spiral Jetty - again», by Gareth Harris, The Artnewspaper, 31 January 2013.