Mark Blacklock


20 September 2013

At Frith Street

Tacita Dean’s film JG, showing at Frith Street Gallery until 26 October, was inspired by a correspondence with J.G. Ballard shortly before his death from cancer in 2009. Dean was interested in the connections between Ballard’s short story ‘The Voices of Time’ (1960) and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), a 1500-foot earthwork built into the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Ballard urged Dean to ‘treat it as a mystery that your film will solve’. He sent her a piece he’d written on Smithson for a gallery, ‘Robert Smithson as Cargo Cultist’ (1997), and briefed her on his reading of Spiral Jetty: