Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall shows Tacita Dean’s tribute to analogue film

14:22 10 October 2011

Tacita Dean

Tacita Dean's film is the latest commission for Tate Modern's Turbine Hal (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

A tall film showing everything from tomatoes and mushrooms to a snail on a leaf and an escalator has been unveiled at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

Tacita Dean’s work, entitled Film, and is 42ft (13m) tall, is the 12th commission in the Unilever series, which over the years has featured a cracked floor, giant slides, a huge scarlet trumpet and a mesmerising sunset in the vast space.

The 11-minute silent work is a tribute to the “magical art” of analogue film, which has been threatened by the rise of digital technology.

Dean’s work, which looks like a filmstrip with sprocket holes, and contains images of the sea, trees, flowers, an eye and a grasshopper, has been projected on to the back of a darkened Turbine Hall.

The space was most recently occupied by Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist whose Sunflower Seeds installation fell victim to health and safety rules.

The original plan for visitors to walk over Weiwei’s 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds were scuppered because of concerns about ceramic dust, and the gallery had to cordon off the work.

Dean has filmed eclipses, sunsets, lighthouses, and eight minutes of magpies in the trees outside her studio, in her previous work.

For the Millennium Dome, she recorded sounds from around the world and placed the “soundscape” in a jukebox.

She is also known for Presentation Sisters, an hour-long film following the daily routine of five elderly residents of a convent.

The Canterbury-born 45-year-old, who is based in Berlin and was shortlisted for the 1998 Turner Prize, is the third British artist to fill the Turbine Hall, following in the footsteps of Anish Kapoor in 2002 and Rachel Whiteread in 2005.

She described her new work, which she edited by hand, as “a hell of a process” and “a labour of love”, adding “for me it’s a little miracle.”

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