Tate St Ives
7 October 2005 – 15 January 2006
John Wood and Paul Harrison
Tacita Dean - Berlin Works
This will be the first major showing of the English artist Tacita Dean’s recent work in a British public gallery since 2001. Dean (born 1965) trained at Falmouth College of Arts and has an enduring love of the Cornish landscape. She is fascinated with the medium of film not only for its close relationship to the passing of time but also for the possibilities film presents in the construction of narrative between its constituent parts of visual and sound track. This October’s Tate St Ives exhibition is the first occasion the city of Berlin has been presented as a particular subject of Dean’s art.
Dean is a leading artist of her generation and makes films, prints, and drawings on such diverse supports as blackboards and alabaster slabs. Her experience of Berlin, where she has lived since 2000, shapes the work she makes. Her instinctive radar for the shifts and ruptures in human affairs caused by history, approaching them via allusion and association, and the impact on the material culture and buildings, find perhaps their purest marker in the momentous events that have occurred in the city.
Berlin first found its way into her art through a film of a monument she had visited years earlier as an art student, in another era, its modernity now tarnished by the passing of time. Fernsehturm (TV Tower), 2001, explores Berlin’s TV tower in Alexander Platz in the centre of Berlin, formerly in the Eastern part of the city. High above the square, the TV Tower’s revolving restaurant commands a view across the entire city. For the first time Dean’s film included people. Their fluid presence in the slowly turning room was captured in an expansive film during which the day outside slipped into the darkness of night, while inside the warm glow of natural light gave way to harsh fluorescent strip lighting. These shifts; of perspective, light, locality, history and humanity from the minutae of daily activity to the grander patterns of planetary motion, from the restaurant interior to a limitless horizon outside, marked Dean’s first major work about the city.
In other films, Dean has turned to Berlin, its streets, trees and sounds. The view from her studio, of magpies flocking to and flying from the birch trees just outside has been captured in Pie, 2003, giving a more intimate reading of the presence of nature and the process of artistic activity, from within the city. She returned to contemplate the city’s divided history in Palast, 2005, a film reflecting (at times quite literally) the now ruined condition of the landmark Palace of the Republic erected during the era of the former German Democratic Republic.
Shown in the UK for the first time, Dean’s most recent work constructs an intimate portrait of Berlin and her experiences living there. A group of framed opera and theatre programmes, each with a section of the cover carefully excised, expose text and photographs beneath; why and when this was done, and by whom, forms the essential mystery of this work. Highly allusive, it suggests a personal experience wrapped up in the larger rhythms of history.
Kerstin Kartscher - Tate St Ives Artist Residency Programme
Kerstin Kartscher (b 1966) is the third participant in the prestigious Residency Programme, based at the historic Porthmeor Studios in St Ives. During the 12 month residency Kartscher has developed a new body of work for a special exhibition opening in October 2005. Born in Nurenburg, her work portrays new fantasy worlds for contemporary women. Free of social, emotional and psychological constraints, Kartscher’s women celebrate their femininity within fantastical, elegant and immense landscapes. The new work, her first installation, follows the evolution of her ideas from her drawings into a three-dimensional world.
Simon Carroll - New Work
A new body of work made for the large glass showcase at Tate St Ives, by ceramist Simon Carroll. Born in 1964, Carroll has become well known for his exuberant, often challenging ceramic vessels. Uniquely expressive, his pots deconstruct the history of ceramics - particularly 19th century English slipware, whilst drawing inspiration from an eclectic range of sources including Elizabethan ruffles, sombreros and Cornish wind-farms. Carroll has exhibited nationally and internationally, is a Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art and is represented in both the V&A and Crafts Council Collections.
John Wood and Paul Harrison - Twenty Six (Drawing and Falling Things)
Coming to Tate St Ives for the first time, Twenty Six (Drawing and Falling Things) 2001, is part of a video series from British artists John Wood (b. 1969) and Paul Harrison (b.1966). Since 1993, Wood and Harrison have created works that are built around performed actions, absurd dramas featuring themselves interacting with props in simple constructed spaces. The works are almost invariably short, each piece a variation upon, or development of, the initial idea. The theme of irresistible forces acting on the body-a poetic ode to the necessity of accepting the lack of power over forces such as gravity and mortality-runs through their work.
March-October daily 10.00-17.30, last admission 17.00
November-February, Tuesday-Sunday 10.00-16.30, last admission 16.00