7 July–30 September 2018
British-European artist Tacita Dean (b.1965) has a wide-ranging practice that includes drawings, photographs, installations and collections of found objects and images, but she is best known for her use of film, and her advocacy for its preservation as an artistic medium.
This year, Dean has presented three major exhibitions in London around the themes of landscape, portraiture and still life. This present exhibition complements these, but is distinct from them, exploring the artist’s approaches to theatre, performance and narrative. In the context of Edinburgh’s festivals, the work in this exhibition speaks to the vitality of the performing arts in the city over the summer months.
The title – Woman with a Red Hat – is taken from the film Event for a Stage, around which the exhibition pivots. Originally commissioned for the 2014 Sydney Biennale as a live theatre piece, the work was Dean’s first foray into the theatre and her first experience of working with an actor. The film is an intricate interweaving of the four consecutive performances of the piece. The fierce interplay between the artist and the actor, Stephen Dillane, as they struggle to understand and accommodate each other’s artforms makes for a compelling, complex investigation into the balance of reality and illusion in both.
Other works in the exhibition expand upon the themes explored in Event for a Stage, looking at the figure of the actor, the role and workings of the script, and the construction of sound and narrative in film.The works range from the early installation Foley Artist,that dramatises the fiction of cinematic sound, to the recent film miniature His Picture in Little, featuring three actors who have all played Hamlet on the London stage. Together, the works in the exhibition ask us to consider the ways in which theatrical artifice can transport us, and ultimately deliver truth through fiction.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new publication, which includes the script for Event for a Stage and a previously unpublished conversation between Tacita Dean and art historian Hal Foster.
Screenings of Event for a Stage are free. The film lasts 50 minutes and will be shown at the following times:
Please book via Eventbrite or in the bookshop, or speak to an Information Assistant about availability for the next showing. The work is a complete narrative, and should be seen from start to finish. Late comers will be admitted at the discretion of the usher.
Tacita Dean Woman with a Red Hat is part of Edinburgh Art Festival, 26 July – 26 August 2018.