PRINT October 2003



In the voice-over to Sans Soleil (1982), Chris Marker offers a typically aphoristic remark: “We do not remember; we rewrite memory much as history is rewritten.” The linkage between history and memory, their common constructedness, is also evident in the films of Tacita Dean, who, while ostensibly celebrating the formal languages of structural film—duration, framing, sound, and editing—engages the process of memory and resignification that sets in when history lets go of its protagonists, and their actions, objects, and characters become forgotten. Almost all of Dean’s films center around one simple element—such as an observed event, a discovered place, or a forgotten story—that seems obvious and miraculous at the same time. She has made films about a lighthouse off the Scottish coast of Berwickshire (Disappearance at Sea, 1996); the sound-reflecting concrete walls built on the Kent coast

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