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Tacita Dean

Courtesy of Norton Museum of Art.

Courtesy of Norton Museum of Art.

Norton Museum of Art - West Palm Beach

By Jenifer Mangione-Vogt

The Norton Museum of Art recently staged the first major museum exhibit of the photography of 46-year-old Berlin-based British artist Tacita Dean. Dean is considered one of the Young British Artists, a notable cadre that includes Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, and the Norton presented her show alongside that of another YBA, Jenny Saville.

Dean is most well-regarded for her work on film. One lauded 1996 film and photography series, Disappearance at Sea, was inspired by stories of personal encounters with the sea, though tinged with melancholy surrounding a key figure, Donald Crowhurst, who, upon realizing he couldn’t make an around-the-world journey, issued false reports rather than admit defeat.

Visitors to this exhibit witnessed Dean’s ability to realize compelling and thought-provoking visual allegory through displays of found photography. One work, The Russian Ending, a series of 20 postcards showing catastrophes and arranged with different outcomes, was inspired by a trend in Danish cinema to shoot two endings to a film. One is sentimental and happy for Hollywood audiences; the other is solemn and tragic for the more somber Russians. Many of the works in the exhibit also included the artist’s intriguing personal annotations.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

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