The Phaidon contemporary artists series includes an 'Artist's Choice' section and Tacita Dean has selected a poem by W.B. Yeats and a brief extract from W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn in which the author gazes across the sea at a retreating cloudbank. This cloud formation, glistening 'like the icefields of the Caucasus', reminds Sebald of a dream in which he had walked a mountain range that had felt strangely familiar, and which later he placed as the view from a bus of the Vallüla massif, seen once on a childhood outing. 'I suppose it is submerged memories that give dreams their curious air of hyper-reality. But perhaps there is something else as well, something nebulous, gauze-like, through which everything one sees in a dream seems, paradoxically, much clearer. A pond becomes a lake, a breeze becomes a storm, a handful of dust a desert...'
Incidentally, the Artist's Choices in Phaidon's contemporary artists series make up a great reading list: Louise Bourgeois - Francois Sagan; Luc Tuymans - Andrei Platanov; Doug Aitken - Jorge Luis Borges; Uta Barth - Joan Didion; Mark Dion - John Berger; Richard Deacon - Mary Douglas; Jimmie Durham - Italo Calvino; Olafur Eliasson - Henri Bergson; Tom Friedman - Robert Walser and Timothy Leary; Antony Gormley - Saint Augustine; Dan Graham - Philip K. Dick; Paul Graham - Kazuo Ishiguro and Haruki Murakami; Mona Hatoum - Piero Manzoni and Edward Said; Jenny Holzer - Samuel Beckett and Elias Canetti; Roni Horn - Clarice Lispector; Ilya Kabakov - Anton Chekhov; Alex Katz - New York School Poets; Mike Kelley - Charles Fort; Mary Kelly - Julia Kristeva and Lynne Tillman; Paul McCarthy - Jean Paul Sartre; Cildo Meireles - Jorge Luis Borges; Raymond Pettibon - George Puttenham, Laurence Sterne and John Ruskin (what would Ruskin have made of Pettibon!); Pipilotti Rist - Anne Sexton and Richard Brautigan; Doris Salcedo - Paul Celan and Emmanuel Levinas; Thomas Schütte - Seneca; Lorna Simpson - Suzan Lori Parks; Nancy Spero - Stanley Kubrick and Alice Jardine; Jessica Stockholder - Julian Jaynes and Cornelius Castoriadis; Lawrence Weiner - W.B. Yeats and Kenneth Patchen; and Franz West - Kathryn Norberg.