The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

UC San Diego’s Department of Visual Arts and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) Present: Russell Lecture with Tacita Dean on November 6

when: 2014-11-06, starts at 7pm
where: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD)

San Diego, CA—Thursday, November 6, at 7 PM, the UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will present its annual Russell Lecture at MCASD’s La Jolla Location. The 2014 Russell Lecturer is internationally acclaimed artist Tacita Dean.

Dean is a British artist who currently lives and works in Berlin. While she has trained in a variety of media, Dean is most noted for her work in 16mm film. These formally exquisite works constitute elegiac meditations on the passage of time, memory, and the nature of film itself. Dean taps into both fictional and historical narratives, with evocations as grand as humanity’s struggle against the elements or as humble as the artist at work in the studio. Through these varied subjects run the motifs of searching and disappearance. Her medium of choice, 16mm film, is one that is itself quickly disappearing in the wake of digital technology.

“My relationship to film begins at that moment of shooting, and ends in the moment of projection. Along the way, there are several stages of magical transformation that imbue the work with varying layers of intensity. This is why the film image is different from the digital image: it is not only emulsion versus pixels, or light versus electronics, but something deeper-something to do with poetry,” Dean explained in an article for the Guardian.

Born in Canterbury, Kent, Dean studied art at the Falmouth School of Art in England, the Supreme School of Fine Art in Athens, and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Following her 1996 film Disappearance at Sea, Dean was nominated as a finalist for the Turner Prize in 1998-the most prestigious annual prize presented at the Tate to a British artist under 50. Dean was 35 years old at the time, making her the youngest artist to have a solo exhibition at the Tate. She has since been awarded the Aachen Art Prize, the Sixth Benesse Prize at the 51st Venice Biennale, the Hugo Boss Prize at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Kurt Schwitters Prize. Dean has been elected as a lifetime member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Dean has also participated in exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale and Documenta 13. In 2011 she was commissioned to create a unique work for the Unilever series at Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, where she projected an 11 minute silent 35mm film. The installation was titled FILM and celebrated the techniques of analogue filmmaking, invoking discussion about the use of this medium in contrast to digital filmmaking. Additionally, she has exhibited in institutions such as Schaulager Basel, the New Museum, New York, Museu Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Spain and the Hirshorn Museum of Sculpture and Garden, Washington, DC.

For many years, MCASD and the UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts have partnered to bring contemporary artists to the city through the annual Russell Lecture program. The Russell Foundation was established in the will of Betty Russell, one of MCASD’s founding docents and a long-time supporter of UCSD. She specified that funds from the foundation should help “foster the appreciation and study of the modern visual arts and creativity of young artists” through support to the Museum and the University. Past Russell Lecture speakers have included Nancy Rubins (2006), Robert Irwin (2008), Sophie Calle (2009), Isaac Julien (2011), Tania Bruguera (2013), and Byron Kim (2014).

In addition to the public lecture, Dean will have a chance to meet and interact with students in UCSD’s Department of Visual Arts as part of the Russell Foundation program.

Tickets are now on sale at both MCASD front desks during regular gallery hours and one hour before the evening’s lecture at the Box Office. Tickets can also be purchased at Tickets are available at a limited capacity and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The Russell Lecture is free for MCASD Members and UCSD faculty, students, and staff. Tickets are $15 for general admission, and $5 for seniors and non-UCSD students.

The lecture will be preceded by a screening of Tacita Dean’s 16mm color and black-and-white film Kodak (2006) at 5 PM in Sherwood Auditorium. Following the screening, UCSD guests and MCASD Members at the Contributor level and above are invited to a special reception in Axline Court from 6-7 PM. Guests will enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by The French Gourmet. To become an MCASD Member, visit

For interviews or high resolution images to accompany a story, please reach out to one of the following media contacts:

Leah Straub, MCASD Communications & Marketing Manager
858 454 3541 x119

Dr. Sheena Ghanbari, Ed.D.
Program Promotion Specialist, Department of Visual Arts
University of California, San Diego
858 822 7755

Photo: JG, 2013. Film still 4. Courtesy the artist, Frith Street Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris.

Posted in: Events