Ballardian.com: ‘JG’ at the Junction of ‘Cosmic Sentinels and Spiral Jetties’
March 4, 2013
[box border="full"]Upcoming Event: Arcadia University Gallery Director Richard Torchia will give a lecture addressing the underpinnings of JG as they relate to Robert Smithson’s earthwork and film Spiral Jetty on Wednesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. in the Commons Great Room. Find out more.[/box]
On March 3, Ballardian.com published “Cosmic Sentinels and Spiral Jetties: J.G. Ballard, Robert Smithson & Tacita Dean,” which mentions JG: a film project by Dean that is currently on view at Arcadia University Art Gallery. Contributor Andrew Frost explores the connections between the three artists and the common visual and thematic elements present in their work.
Dean’s own work as an artist had long touched on Ballardian themes, most notably her film work The Green Ray (2001), in which she had used a 16mm camera in an attempt to capture the allusive optical effect seen when the sun dips below the ocean’s horizon, and Disappearance at Sea (1996), a sequence of multi-media works including sculptures, a photography book and a film installation, responding to the story of Donald Crowhurst, the sailor who, in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Single-Handed Round-the-World Yacht Race, suffered a nervous breakdown that ultimately resulted in his death. But not before Crowhurst recorded his insights into the cosmic insignificance of man in the face of the uncaring universe. Indeed, Dean had drawn Ballard’s attention to the demise of Crowhurst’s vessel, The Teignmouth Electron, now abandoned on the shore of Cayman Brac, after she had travelled there to record its remains. The three-hulled vessel was a forlorn object that Dean imagined had been lifted from Ballard’s writings:
“Now as I walked along the road which ran parallel to the runway and caught sight of the trimaran in the undergrowth, more than ever did I place it in his fictional world, a world where the sea had retreated and left our boats stranded, or had risen and taken off our harbours to strange and unfit places…”