Here are the two parts of the project on the subject of truth .
Father/Son/Daughter separately recording their memories. This was filmed with standard 8 cine film, projected and then recorded pixillatedly.
And the plaque, finally hanging in chains from a gallows, somewhat precariously, as I envisaged. The Hebrew text inscribed reads “and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”
This work by Nathan Coley is installed on the lawn outside Edinburgh’s Dean Gallery just now.
When I first saw it I didn’t take to it much, I thought no miracles ever, what a depressing prospect. I should move on.. but then I heard about what inspired Coley, an avowed atheist, to make this piece of work, and now I am much more attracted and amused by it. This extract below is from an interview with the artist from Theatre critic Mark Fishers blog:
The slogan, which he has been using in different ways since 1998, refers to an incident in 17th century France when the number of miracles reportedly taking place in the village of Modseine started to get out of hand. The solution was a notice from the highest authority in the land: “There will be no miracles here, by order of the King.”
Such grandiosity … should we be sending the Queen to make a proclamation in Iceland.
This painting by Alison Watt as recently been returned to Old St Pauls Church in Edinburgh, after a period away whilst the roof of the chapel was repaired.
It is beautiful..and I was thinking about the title – Still -, and some of the different meanings of that word: still as in unmoving or still as in continuing. The painting is reminiscent of the work of Tacita Dean in that it conveys active stillness, and I find it very conducive to contemplation. The fact that something can be a flat monochromatic surface and yet so alive is amazing.
I wanted to capture something of this quality of active stillness in the tablet in my Notions of Truth project.
I would love to see this work by Tacita Dean, inspired by the story of Donald Crowhurst who went missing during a round the world yacht race.
I have only seen photos of the work which is a 16mm film of the St Abbs Lighthouse, the beam of light reaching out across the water. As a viewer in my imagination the light is reaching out across the waves searching for any sign of life or hope.
Of course it isn’t actively doing anything of the sort: it is a lighthouse, its purpose is to regularly flash its light so that ships on the water can work out where they are relatively to dangerous rocks. However, that sense of compulsive searching stays with me anyway.
I have always found the active stillness within Dean’s work inspiring. The roving searching eye made as an integral part of the Notions of Truth brief has certainly been partly inspired by this work.