Tacita Dean , British b1965
Floh (German for flea)
Dean studied at Falmouth University and after her Artists Residency in Berlin finished in 2001 she continued to live there.
‘Her long-time preoccupation with serendipity , coincidence and unforeseen outcomes as a leitmotif for her artistic method , governed her wanderings through the street markets of Berlin and elsewhere , which produced a harvest of visual materials. These served as the basis of several works consisting of found images’ ( Rainbird ,p.9 )
Floh consists of informal snapshots found in flea markets by Dean that she then organised and curated into a book. It contains a mix of 48 colour and 109 b&w unrelated images .
Additionally limited edition digital prints from the book were available at an exhibition held in 2001at the Frith Street Gallery in London. The prints , like the photographs in the book , are ambiguous and open to interpretation. No text accompanies the unidentified photographs hence the original context remains unknown leaving the viewer free to conceptualise their own narrative.
Photographs are not only physical objects they also prompt speech but Dean states she wanted “to keep the silence of the flea market ; the silence they had when I found them;the silence of the lost object” . It is rather sad to contemplate who were the original owners of the abandoned photographs and why have they been discarded ? Imagine the stories they could they tell , which is precisely what the viewer is left free to do.
This is interesting essay —Mark Godfrey Photography Found and Lost :On Tacita Dean’s Floh HERE
References / Bibliography
Rainbird, S. (2005) Tacita dean: Berlin works: [published to accompany the exhibition Tacita dean: Berlin works, 8 October 2005 – 15 January 2006, Tate, st. Ives]. United Kingdom: Tate Gallery Publish.