Tacita Dean

Study for Fernweh, 2008

‘Finding a path amongst the vegetation and boulders of the photographic distortions, I imagined Goethe’s voyage to Italy, particularly his parcours south of Rome on his way to Naples.’ – Tacita Dean

Fernweh (and subsequently Study for Fernweh) is an improbable landscape made of cliffs, forest and dunes, created from four small discoloured nineteenth century photographs Tacita Dean found in flea markets. The horizon is a famous outcrop, called Sächsische Schweiz – Saxony’s Switzerland, near Dresden. The foreground is unknown sand and scrub.

The German expression ‘Fernweh’ describes a longing to travel, an aching to get away, unlike ‘Wanderlust’, which is a more spirited desire to be in the landscape. It is the etymological opposite of ‘Heimweh’, which means homesickness. ‘We do not have a single word in English for this more considered desire to be gone,’ Dean explains. ‘This work should be approached through its title.’

Print technique
Photogravure on Somerset White Satin 300g
Paper size 59 x 79 cm
Edition of 36
Printed by Mette Ulstrup
Published by Niels Borch Jensen Editions
Signed by:
Signed and numbered by the artist
Registration no
ID: TaD 08 001-1

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