london

Tacita Dean

Royal Institute of British Architects/Frith Street Gallery

One might think of Tacita Dean’s film installation Boots, 2003, as a ghost story: It is set in a sort of haunted house (perhaps explaining the work’s location at RIBA), a vast and immaculate—though entirely empty and unfurnished—Art Deco villa situated amid splendid gardens. One hears strange footsteps (the sound of a dapper gent walking with the aid of two canes) echoing through the vacant halls and corridors. He speaks—languidly, ramblingly—but to whom?

The fiction that the camera is invisible seems to reign here, as in classic cinema. There is no off-camera interlocutor, just an old man reminiscing to himself. He recalls a woman, Blanche, who perhaps once lived here and who is somehow “still here but in another dimension . . .and this whole house is in another dimension.” The memories beguile him—“We did some quite interesting things together which I liked doing

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