On March 3, The Art Blog reviewed JG: a film project by Tacita Dean currently on view at Arcadia University’s Art Gallery. The article, titled “Primordial and meditative—Tacita Dean’s film JG at Arcadia University Art Gallery,” explores the synthesis of inspiration, medium and technique which led to a film “that is both jarring and surreal.”
Dean may have set off to find Smithson’s Spiral, but along the way she got entranced with Ballard’s mysticism and the spiraling symbols themselves, which embody ideas of the labyrinth, life and the infinite.
The synthesis of Smithson and Ballard in JG works on a subliminal level. If you don’t know about either Smithson or Ballard, what you will come away with is a half hour in which you study the land and think about how small humans are in the infinity of space and time. The movie will also give you a desire to visit the salty landscape, which truly looks like no other place you’ve seen, with its blasted colors, strange light and feel of utter inhospitability.