The Book End of Time


Photograph and type on paper

123 x 159 cm (48 7/16 x 62 5/8 in.)

The book is partly open but its static pages are glued together, making it impossible to read. Immortalised in this crystallised state by Tacita Dean, this object seems to have long lost its primary function and has now become a fossilised artefact, the testimony of a bygone era. Yet, this book is not a work of past centuries, but a copy of J.G Ballard’s futuristic novel The Voice of Time, published in 1960.

The two photographs The Book End of Time and The Tail End of Film present each an object placed by Dean in the Utah desert for six weeks, hence covered in salt crystals. Both echo her film JG, inspired by her correspondence with J.G. Ballard and the connections between his novel and Robert Smithson’s iconic work Land Art Spiral Jetty.

Tacita Dean’s photograph The Book End of Time is part of the Pinault Collection. It was first shown at the 2016 “Accrochage” ("Hanging") exhibition at the Punta della Dogana.