Tacita Dean

Quatemary, 2014

Price on request

The Yellowstone supervolcano is a blister of a volcano, which has no release. Magma has been gathering beneath the park’s crust for millennia, the surface is noticeably rising and steaming. If the pressure became so great that the ground would be wrenched apart, the resulting explosion would wipe out several states instantaneously, covering the rest of the world with an ash cloud so dense that it would block out the sun and cause an ice age. The human species would become extinct.

Dean has been collecting albumen photographs from the end of the 19th Century for some time. Made by adventurous photographers excited by the new art form, they are beautiful creamy prints of geysers and igneous formations exhaling steam and ejecting sulphuric vapours. Dean combined several of these albumen photographs into a post-megacalderic apocalypse where volcanic cones are gateways to Hell and where the sun is lost to ash. But like all mise-en-scène, it is subject to continuity errors.

Tacita Dean’s Quatemary combines procedures from two earlier large-scale photogravures, Fernweh (2009) and More or Less (2011). Partly chalk drawing on blackboard like More or Less, partly text and drawing over a photographic landscape, like Fernweh, the different techniques were joined into one seamless image in a technically demanding process.

Print technique
Photogravure on Somerset White Satin 400g
Paper size 199 x 647.5 cm
Edition of 8
Printed by Julie Dam, Mette Ulstrup, Thomas Jennions
Published by Niels Borch Jensen Editions
Signed by:
Signed and numbered by the artist
Registration no
ID: TaD 14 001-1

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