The Espace Louis Vuitton Munich continues its celebration of female artistic ingenuity in 2016 with a new monographic exhibition from the critically-acclaimed British artist, Tacita Dean, serving as the second edition of the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s “Hors-les-murs” project in Munich.
Conceived and produced under the artistic direction of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the “Hors-les-murs” exhibition program introduces previously unseen artworks from its permanent collection to audiences of the Espaces culturels Louis Vuitton in Munich, Venice, Beijing, and Tokyo, thus realizing its mission to curate ambitious international art projects and share its collection with a broader public.
Working in a diverse range of media, including film, photography, drawing, painting, sound installation, found objects, and prints, Tacita Dean’s practice commemorates the passing of time by documenting its imprints on natural elements, such as rocks and trees, and ageing bodies. Her detective-like interest in seemingly mundane moments results in works that are inquisitive, precise, and poetic. Her meditative response to the frantic technological changes of the modern age celebrates the fragility of human endeavour, the timeless context of nature, and traces of time left throughout history. Through her meticulous methodology, she instills a quiet depth in her works, where time is the major protagonist. Dean is passionately attached to analogue modes of cinema (16mm) and photography (silver gelatin photographs and photogravure), finding in these a metaphor for the acute awareness of time that informs her work. In parallel to her practice in film and photography, she also produces chalk drawings on blackboards since the 1990s and paintings on postcards and photographs since 2005: all evolving from comparatively slow, complex processes.
Tacita Dean brings together five major works from the Fondation Louis Vuitton collection to illustrate the great diversity of the artist’s oeuvre during the last decade. At the same time, it provides a testimony to Dean’s unique and highly poetic artistic language, with which she plays in a virtuosic manner across all media.
The meditative installation “Presentation Windows” (2005) is an allegory of an 18th century convent building in Cork, Ireland, whose natural decay aroused the artist’s fascination. The film “Human Treasure” (2006) focuses on the octogenarian master of traditional Japanese comedy, Sensaku Shigeyama, and his daily ritual of having breakfast in the famous Takaragaike Prince Hotel in Tokyo. “Lightning Series I–VII” (2007) captures the impermanence of lightning by engraving its image on carbon paper. The painted photograph “Hünengrab” (2008) depicts a prehistoric stone formation in Cornwall, England, anchored in a nature beyond time. To make “The Book End of Time” (2013), the artist dipped a J.G. Ballard book in potash and invited the passing of time to immerse it in saline crystals. To complement these works from the collection, the artist has chosen to show “Fernweh” (2009), a photogravure using four found photographs from the 19th century which embodies the archaic German word meaning “a longing to travel to faraway places.”