Tacita Dean navigates the forgotten corners of history and experience. The languorous, meditative, and durational passages through time that she presents in her films, drawings, and installations are breathtaking in their beauty. The Friar’s Doodle and its three corresponding photographs were created after the artist made two visits to the Romanesque monastery at Santo Domingo de Silos in northern Spain. Inspired by the drawings previously made by monks on and around the cloister’s colonnade, she connected these to her own life and a sketch given to her as a schoolgirl by a young man studying theology at a nearby university. The film features a series of extreme close-ups and slow panning shots of the drawing at the monastery. In the photographs, Dean overlaid this imagery with her hand-painted interpretations of the young student’s doodle. However, the artist never allows us to see either drawing in its entirety. Dean considers the creation of these works to be part artistic endeavor and part enlightenment of the creative impetus begun centuries ago by the Benedictine monks.
Label from Drawing: The Beginning of Everything, July 8–October 15, 2017