Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Tacita Dean

Comoggardising: the Benefits of Creative Indolence

Artists' Research Laboratory (XX CSAV)
30 June–23 July 2014

"We are in danger of losing our ability to daydream, and along with it, our ability for incidental thought. Those moments of uninvited waiting common to us all: the waiting for public transport or appointments with others, are now being squandered and filled by the digital tools of communication that dominate our lives. I do it myself and I wish I didn't... the email, the texting, the filling of time.

The busyness or business that fills our days is blighting our ability to be lost in imaginative space. Increasingly we no longer allow our minds to idle, like a car ticking over without moving. Doing nothing is an important state for the artist. Indolence is often misinterpreted or misunderstood. The Swiss writer, Robert Walser named it 'sluggardising'. I interpret this as the ability to work while appearing to be doing nothing, most often when lying down. He also called it slug-a-beddishness. Thoughts are best found when they are not courted, but few of us know how to be receptive enough to recognize them when they come. We need to refind this most underestimated of cognitive positions.

Lake Como will be a place of strangeness for all of us. Historically, it was probably where people came to take the air, respire: a place of repose and perhaps the pursuit of rarefied thought. But this isn't an invitation to do nothing, or what is commonly understood as 'nothing'. It is the opposite, in fact. The level of brain idleness I want to encourage is very rigorous indeed and difficult to achieve. This is more of an invitation to identify new time and new space in your life in order to move closer to discovering a more unconscious level to your practice."
(Tacita Dean)

Annie Ratti
Simone Menegoi
Anna Castelli

Invited artist

Tacita Dean (b. 1965, Canterbury, UK) lives and works in Berlin. She is a British visual artist who works primarily in film and studied at Falmouth School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art. Since the early 1990s, Dean's body of work explores the forgotten corners of history and experience through a range of films, photographs, drawings, and installations. Her practice combines the hand of the artist with historical elements, resulting in works that suggest a joining together of the past and the future. Her body of work is an elegy to slowness: the landscapes in her photographs and the subjects of her films represent allegories of time and memory.

Dean’s work has been exhibited in relevant institutions worldwide, among which: London (1998, 2001); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2000); MACBA, Barcelona (2001); Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2003); Schaulager, Basel (2006); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2007); Dia: Beacon, New York (2008); Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2009) Turbine Hall (Unilever Series) Tate Modern, London (2011) The New Museum, New York (2012); Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro (2013); MAMbo, Bologna (2013); The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014) and National Gallery of Denmark, SMK (2014).

Dean has taken part in many group exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (2003, 2005, 2013), Sydney Biennale (2005, 2014), Berlin Biennale (2014), São Paulo Biennale (2006, 2010) and Documenta 13 (2012). She was a nominee for the Turner Prize in 1998, won the Hugo Boss Prize in 2006, the Kurt Schwitters Prize in 2009 and was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2008.

Participant artists

Johann Arens
Ode de Kort
Maya Dikstein
Shadi Harouni
Neven Lochhead
Alex McNamee
Johan Österholm
Oscar Santillan
Manuel Scano
Gonçalo Sena
Linn Skaghammar
Diego Thielemans
Massimo Vaschetto
Venturi & Vaslijević


Tacita Dean

Craneway Event

10 July–28 September 2014

Corso Aperto

9 July 2014


Tacita Dean

Comoggardising: the Benefits of Creative Indolence

9 July 2014

Béla Tarr


16 July 2014


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