Tacita Dean is one of a large number of internationally-known artists who have never shown in Vancouver. This film work is a six-minute loop presented as a rear projection. The subject is a series of selected moments in the lives of a group of women who are using the public baths in Budapest, Hungary. This work was shown at the National Gallery of Canada in 2000 and its message is more vital now that it was then. The activity in the film is set at a pace that is completely removed from that of the modern world and the artist has emphasized this pace by slowing down the action cinematically. As Dean has said about the work: “The walls of the steam baths in Budapest are covered with testimonials from people who have sought and found relief from innumerable ailments in the sulphurous waters of the city. The complaints are mostly of a rheumatic or asthmatic nature. I would go to the Gellért Baths almost every day of my stay in Hungary, and watch the old women sit together on the steps of the pool, moving their bodies slowly and making them work again in the warm waters, momentarily rejuvenating them in those few precious hours spent in the baths each week.”
Tacita Dean is originally from the UK and now lives in Berlin. Gellért is one of her most important works. The pairing of this piece with Sue Lloyd’s photographs in separate shows will provide viewers with an unusual opportunity to experience two of the most elegant contemporary works incorporating the complexities of our relation to water as a key subject. Work shown courtesy of the Frith Street Gallery, London.
Kitty Scott, Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, will present a talk on the work of Tacita Dean
Saturday Janurary 10, 2 pm.