Fernweh

Longing to Travel

Fernweh. Tacita Dean. 2009.

Fernweh. Tacita Dean. 2009.

“Fernweh is an improbable landscape made of cliffs, forest and dunes. I created it from four small discoloured nineteenth century photographs that I found in flea markets some time ago. The craggy horizon is a famous outcrop, called Sächsische Schweiz – Saxony’s Switzerland, which is near Dresden. The foreground is unknown sand and scrub.
Finding a path amongst the vegetation and boulders of the photographic distortions, I imagined Goethe’s voyage to Italy, particularly his parcours south of Rome on his way to Naples.

‘Fernweh’ is discontinued parlance for a longing to travel, an aching to get away. Different, I imagine, from ‘Wanderlust’, which is a more spirited desire to be in the landscape.

It is the etymological opposite of the German word, ‘Heimweh’, which means homesickness. We do not have a single word in English for this more considered desire to be gone. This work should be approached through its title.” Tacita Dean

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