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CLOSE-UP: FRAME BY FRAME

Tacita Dean, FILM, 2011, 35-mm film, projector, screen, seating, 11 minutes. Installation view, Tate Modern, London.

IN A SHORT VIDEO made to accompany FILM, her 2011 piece for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London, Tacita Dean begins by describing the making of The Green Ray, 2001. The title alludes to the last flash of light from the setting sun—which is “just slower than the red or the yellow ray.” To capture this elusive aura, often witnessed by sailors, she watched the sunset off the west coast of Madagascar. Positioning her camera, loaded with its spool of celluloid, she began the exposure and waited. As the sun disappeared under the horizon, Dean “believed but was never sure” she saw a flash of green. Next to her were two observers with a video camera. They neither saw nor captured the phenomenon, and insisted their video proved that Dean had not seen it either. But when Dean’s film was developed, there—unmistakable in the fleeting movement of film frames—was the green

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