Although she emerged in the 1990s, Berlin-based English artist Tacita Dean has in her work a quiet depth not usually associated with the Pop and hype of the 'cool Britannia' scene. Her film installations explore how chance and coincidence influence daily life, constructing narratives that connect past and present, fact and fiction, private histories and larger events.
In "Disappearance at Sea" (1996) a three-part installation and artist's book, Dean documents the tragic account of Donald Crowhurst and his attempt to fake a solo voyage around the globe, his eventual loss of sanity and his death at sea. The work tells the story through various fragments and landscapes, including a magnificent sea vista from a lighthouse beacon that produces a mysterious 'missing narrative' (as the artist calls it) reminiscent of 19th century atmospheric sea- and landscape painters.
"FLOH" (2002) is a collection of photographs discovered by the artist in flea markets across Europe and America - holiday snaps or banal occurrences and events retrieved by the artist. Other works include a jukebox filled with ambient sound recordings from around the world, an endlessly turning Berlin seen from the revolving restaurant of the Fersehturm television tower and a frustrated attempt to follow directions (as misleading as they are meticulous) to find Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty in Utah's Great Salt Lake.
Her work has been presented at museums and galleries throughout the world (including the DePont Foundation, Tilburg, the Netherlands; Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel; Tate Britain, London; Fundacao la Caixa, Barcelona; the Hirsshorn Museum, Washington D.C.; Musee d'Art Modern de la Ville de Paris; and Museu Serralves, Portugal) and her films have also been screened at the Sundance Film Festival.