Building DIY Gardening

 

27 Oct, 2011

Tacita Dean artist at Tate Modern Turbine Hall London – building specific art film installation

Posted by: Geoff Davis In: architecture|Buildings|camera|exhibition|Exhibitions and Shows|films|Government Schemes|Light and Lighting|Photography|Skills

Went along to the installation in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG. The building is an old power station converted into a vast art gallery – a bit like an Art Mall – styled to be a bit modern, a bit industrial, a bit futuristic.

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

The Turbine Hall is the cavernous space where the workings of the power station – the turbines – did there stuff. Now is it given over to art installations, which provide a good focus for visitors, somewhere for the kids to run about, and the chance for artists to make a large scale work.

The current installation is called FILM by Tacita Dean and is yes it is a film piece.

Kids running about at Turbine Hall, Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Kids running about at Turbine Hall, Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean is an English artist (b. 1965) who works in a variety of media, including film. She likes to physically manipulate the film, and the large scale film she has created was made in the camera – which is an old technique to make experimental films, not using any modern digital post-production. Basically the film is shot in the camera (no editing or splicing afterwards, one take, then the actual celluloid is coloured, layered (montage). This might involve film printing in special machines but this is not mentioned in the notes. She has not used any scratch techniques – by which I mean actual scratching of the film surface to make lines etc – the effects are mainly overlay of images, dual or triple compositions, and a lot of colour blocks.

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

There are Dada and Surreal references, which is appropriate for this ‘retro’ film style, since hardly anyone does this kind of thing any more, it is all digital for YouTube.

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

This installation is part of the Unilever Series and is at Tate Modern until 11 March 2012, so plenty of time to see it. The file called ‘FILM’ is 35mm color and black and white, portrait format anamorphic, mute (no sound), looped, 11 minutes long. That’s a funny title – is Tacita Dean possessing all of FILM in this piece? Perhaps the Stan Brakhage bit. (He was an American non-narrative film maker in case you wondered – big in the 70s and 80s).

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

What is the connection to Building and DIY? I (the editor) used to hang out at the London Film-Makers’ Co-op in the 1980s, they had all sorts of this equipment for real film processing. Then the LFMC got moved from the large, messy, friendly (and sometimes noisy) premises over a Chinese laundry in Camden, to special new premises in Shoreditch, and it all went horribly wrong.

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Also Tacita Dean is using images of the power station in the film, as the backdrop for the manipulations and effects. The use of physical film is ‘retro’ as is the mundane practical old building, now converted to a modern art gallery for the leisured middle classes and hordes of students, and kids.

Here are some images from the piece, called ‘Film’. It is created sideways (90 degree rotation) so it is in portrait mode, and is huge, shown in a dark cinematic space.

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern London SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern SE1

Tacita Dean FILM Tate Modern SE1

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