Fragment Antigone, Kunstmuseum/Gegenwart, Basel.

The Museum hosts the Swiss premiere of Antigone (2018), Tacita Dean’s (b. 1965) most complex work to date.

The presentation of the hourlong, anamorphic 35mm film is contextualized by other films, photographs, photogravures, and chalk drawings of the British-European artist.

Antigone revolves around the name ‘Antigone’ and how it resonates, not only in Greek literary history, but also in the artist’s own life.

Antigone is the name of Dean’s older sister so was one of the first words the artist ever learnt. ‘Antigone’ is also the eponymous heroine in the Theban trilogy of plays by the Greek tragedian Sophocles, which led Dean to intertwine her own story with the mythological cosmic order of classical antiquity.

The central concern in Antigone is blindness: the artist’s own willed blindness and action are prismatically fractured, yielding a panoply of radiant images.

The artist has dedicated herself in the last decade to reusing some of the early visionary techniques of filmmaking that created cinema as we know it and reworking them as a powerful argument for the medium

The screening of Antigone is complemented by a small collection of works by Dean that closely relate to this film, as well as a recent large-scale blackboard drawing, Chalk Fall (2018) and slate works

The exhibition continues with an installation of a group of short 16mm films: Ear on a Worm (2017),  A Cloud makes itself (2020), Providence (2018)  and LA Magic Hour (2019-2021).