The Structure of Ice

The Structure of Ice

Tacita Dean

Read about the artwork

Tacita Dean - The Structure of Ice

  • 1997
  • 16 mm film (artist intervention)
  • Location: Chemistry gallery, second floor (no longer on display)

Tacita Dean was commissioned to create an artwork for Oak Repels Lightning, a temporary art exhibition in the Challenge of Materials and Chemistry galleries in 1998. In the 16 mm film The Structure of Ice, Dean explored the idea of a love relationship and union between two chemical compounds. Following research into the early history of materials science and alchemy, she created a three-minute film showing a model of the structure of ice made for the scientist Kathleen Lonsdale in 1950. The film’s narrated story is based on the theories of the atomists Leucippus of Miletus and Democritus of Abdera, pre-Socratic philosophers from the 5th century BCE.

About the artist

British artist Tacita Dean (born 1965) works in a variety of media but is best known for her compelling 16 mm films. Her films often employ long takes and steady camera angles to create a contemplative atmosphere.

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