And from that point of view it’s most improbable that anyone will ever know exactly who is enjoying the shadow of whom
September 23, 2013 § Leave a comment
JG is a sequel in technique to FILM, Tacita Dean’s 2011 project for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. It is inspired by her correspondence with British author J.G. Ballard (1930-2009) regarding connections between his short story “The Voices of Time” (1960) and Robert Smithson’s iconic earthwork and film Spiral Jetty (both works, 1970). The new 26½ minute work is a 35mm anamorphic film shot on location in the saline landscapes of Utah and California using Dean’s recently developed and patented system of aperture gate masking.
JG departs from her previous 16mm films in that it marks a return to voiceover and sets out to respond directly to Ballard’s challenge—posed to her in a letter shortly before he died—that she should seek to solve the mysteries of Smithson’s Spiral Jetty with her film. The connections between Ballard’s short story, which ends with its main character building a mandala in a dried saline landscape and Smithson’s earthwork in the Great Salt Lake, are unequivocal. Dean writes: “While Smithson’s jetty spiralled downward in the artist’s imagination through layers of sedimentation and prehistory, in ancient repetition of a mythical whirlpool, coiling beneath the surface of the lake to the origins of time in the core of the earth below, the mandala in ‘The Voices of Time’ is its virtual mirror, kaleidoscoping upwards into cosmic integration and the tail end of time.” read more