A Berlin landmark forms the point of departure for the series Fernsehturm, which sees Tacita Dean exploring the relationship between memory and time.
In 2000 Tacita Dean moved from London to Berlin. In Berlin one of the main landmarks of the city – the TV tower in the Alexanderplatz with the revolving restaurant at the top – caught her eye and held it insistently.
" I found myself totally seduced by the Fernsehturm …", says Tacita Dean.
Between past and future
The TV tower is known throughout the world as a Berlin landmark. When it was first built in 1965-69, under the DDR regime and during the Cold War, it was a symbol of the future – a piece of science fiction. These days it is mainly the haunt of tourists, who come to visit the restaurant at the top and to enjoy its sweeping views of the entire city.
Tacita Dean is interested in the relationship between memory and time, and to her the tower represents a perfect anachronism. Dean shot film footage within the tower’s restaurant, using stills from the film to create the print series Fernsehturm.
Focusing on light
It is difficult to recognise the TV tower in Tacita Dean’s series. For these images do not focus on the tower itself, nor on the people visiting it – but rather on the light changing and fading. From the bright light of the afternoon sun to the many colours of the sunset to the onset of dusk and the white electric lights illuminating the restaurant at night.