Kopi av Nele-Still08.jpg
Fiona Tan, "Nellie", 2013. Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London. Still picture: © F.Tan.

Fiona Tan. Geography of Time

25 September 2015–31 January 2016

The Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to present «Fiona Tan. Geography of Time» by the internationally renowned contemporary artist Fiona Tan. The exhibition is a collaborative travelling exhibition initiated by the National Museum, Oslo. After showing in Oslo it will travel to Mudam Luxembourg, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, and Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Memories and identity, time and place

Deeply embedded in Tan’s work is her fascination with the mutability of identity, the deceptive nature of representation and the play of memory across time and space. Fiona Tan’s film and video practice explores notions of individual and collective identity in a world increasingly shaped by global culture and the histories and journeys that form it. Geography of Time brings together works by Fiona Tan that explore the themes of memory and identity in mesmerizing ways.

For Nellie (2013), the most recent video installation on view in the exhibition, Tan brings the story of Corneila van Rijn, Rembrandt’s illegitimate daughter, to light. At the age of sixteen she emigrated to Batavia (present-day Jakarta) and made the opposite journey that Fiona Tan herself made from Indonesia to Amsterdam. Tan makes a visual enhancing portrait of the young girls’ secluded and lonely life.

Photographic and cinematic idiom

From the “Vox Populi” series, the London, Tokyo and Sydney versions will be on view in the museum and a fourth work from the series, Vox Populi Norway, will be on view in the Storting, the Norwegian parliament. In “Vox Populi (Voice of the People)” Tan has borrowed photo albums from citizens in five different cities. By contributing their albums lenders have given the artist unique access to domestic imagery that ranges from the celebratory to the mundane. Tan has selected several hundred images from these albums to be scanned, and exhibited as photo installations displaying a playful cross-section of the cities and countries the series portray.

Other works on view include the photo installation Changeling (2006), the video installations Diptych (2006–11), Provenance (2010) and A lapse of Memory (2007).

For Fiona Tan (b. 1966, Pekan Baru, Indonesia) images of people almost always play a central role in her photographs, films and audio-video installations. The role of language and the written word is equally fundamental to her work, and Tan personally scripts the texts and essays that accompany her films. Many of her works are defined by a back and forth shifting between visual and literal possibilities of meaning. Born in Indonesia, Tan eventually settled in Amsterdam to study at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten. She began exhibiting in the early 1990s and has been recognized for her important contributions to international biennials and group exhibitions. Recent solo exhibitions include exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2014), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2015) and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography & National Museum of Art, Osaka (2014).

Curator: Eva Klerck Gange

Educational curator: Camilla Frøland Sramek/Siv Hofsvang 

Project director: Marthe Tveitan

The Museum of Contemporary Art

Address: Bankplassen 4, Oslo