press release

Tacita Dean (1965, Canterbury, VB) first called attention to herself in 1993 with the tryptich and film The Martyrdom of St. Agatha, which she also showed, at her first solo exhibition a year later, in Ljubljana, at the ·kuc Gallery. Since then she gained international fame as one of the most important British artist, having solo exhibitions in museums such as e.g. ARC, Musée d'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris (2004), Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Serralves, Porto or Tate Britain (2001). In1998 she was nominated for the Turner Prize in London, at the recent Venice biennale she took part in two selections - Ritardi e Rivoluzioni and Stazione Utopia. She lives and works in Berlin.

Tacita Dean is best known for her films, which are the primary means of her expression. Not video, which is according to her, "a real time medium to do with documentary and performance", ("with film you look and with video you see…"), but a special 16 mm film, demanding for its projection special technical equipment. The screenings of her films are events in themselves and contain the elements of spatial installation. Her most well known fillms are Disappearance at Sea, 1996-7; Bubble House, 1999; Fernsehturm, 2001; Mario Merz, 2002, Baobab, 2002, Pie, 2003 and Boots, 2003. Closely connected to her films are also her "still works" - filmstills and chalk drawings on blackboard, which function as storyboards for her films and make references/implications further on to other stories. In Tacita Dean’s work, which can be denoted by some key words such as Time, Duration, Stillness, Mapping, History, Coincidence, Imagination…everything is somehow connected. Her art practice is based either on certain (found) objects that become the cause of various associations and eventually lead to a story full of incredible coincidences, or on a historical fact which is the point of research with an unexpected result ultimately connected to the artist’s life in some way or another. Dean’s most recent works have become more personal, almost autobiographical; they are much more directly connected to the artist – her body (Baobab, 2002), history and family (Berlin Project, 2002; Boots, 2003; The Uncles, 2004).

At the Mala galerija Tacita Dean is showing three works: 6 alabaster drawings, which were done at the time of her artist- in- residency in Toscany in 2002 (at the same time she made her well known film portrait of Mario Merz), a series of black and white photogravures called the Blind Pan/ 2004 and found textile, the Found Fortress, 2004. A series of 5 photogravures called Blind Pan, 2004, make up a storyboard for a non-existent film. A found black and white photograph of an unidentified landscape is the backdrop and the "blackboard" for the artist’s comments and instructions to the two protagonists – Oedipus and his daughter Antigone – who appear in the text on each of the five panels. The "story" is based on the implied, unscripted journey between the end of Sophocles’ classical drama Oedipus Rex and the beginning of Oedipus at Colonus. It focuses on the journey of the blinded, limping Oedipus, who had been banished from Thebes to Colonus to die in peace, accompanied by his caring daughter Antigone and monitored from the above by Zeus.

Blind Pan is a self-subsistent piece of work but with direct parallels to Dean’s film Boots, 2003. But we can also find an immediate allusion to another of Dean’s films, to her poetic portrait Mario Merz, 2002, shot just a few months before Mario Merz died. There are also many allusions to the artist herself – Oedipus’ limping walk, hints of the relationship to her aged father who gave Tacita, her sister Antigone and her brother Ptolemy classical Greek names, the questioning on life and death, religion…

The curator of the exhibition is Adela Îeleznik, the exhibition is part of the programme Crossroads of Ideas, run in Slovenia by British Council and the British Embassy.

The exhibition has been supported by British Council.


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Tacita Dean
Kuratorin: Adela Zeleznik