060410: Aargauer Kunsthaus: Fiona Tan – Rise and Fall

Aargauer Kunsthaus Fiona Tan – Rise and Fall 30.01.10 – 18.04.10 In the cocoon of memory With her contribution to last year’s Venice Biennial at the Dutch Pavilion, the now 44-year-old Fiona Tan created an oasis of tranquillity for weary feet and fatigued eyes. The current exhibition at the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau is presenting an extensive overview of her most recent videos, photographs, and drawings for the first time in Switzerland. And it is this meditative serenity that unites all of the works shown in Aarau. But don’t let yourself be deceived: the interfaces and fractures are what attract one’s attention in Fiona’s serene films – when image and sound levels ream the space-time-continuum and redefine them against all habits. The video A Lapse in Memory (2007) makes one feel as if one has arrived in the midst of a dream. The artist provides stage directions from the off, while a dotard attempts to give his useless everyday routine some sort of structure. The house, witness to great, long gone times, and in which the old man dwells on his own, without any furniture, becomes a protective cocoon for the fragile figure. And with its endless rows of rooms and winding stairs it becomes a metaphor for a prison of memory, which is irretrievably lost with every door that snaps shut. The man shuffles along in the museum-like ruins of his life, but moves in circles, while image and text construct a hybrid personality between reality and fiction, in which he threatens to lose himself, or possibly even to dissolve. The visually stunning works by the artist, who was born in Indonesia of Chinese and Italian descent, centre on the question of origin and identity. In her work Projection (2009) she presents a self-portrait - the title already insinuating the alter ego. Her whole body appears on a freely hanging surface in the room, which is accessible from both sides. As if moved by the wind, the multi-faceted image seems as if it liquefies in soft waves and constitutes itself without fixed contours in constantly new forms being and ceasing. An ever-present motif in her works is water – once as gently churning waves, once as a reflective area, allowing time and flow to be experienced. Its free and thunderous fall over a cliff results in an exciting effect of both slow motion and simultaneous acceleration, on account of the whirl that forms over and over again at the same spot. Through this perpetual recurrence of the same, the forward movement of the image is retained - on account of the static of the camera and the eye of the viewer - through the paradox of a moving still-frame. Fiona Tan’s education in media art and painting at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam becomes apparent in her genre-transgressing videos, as for example in her six-part series Provenance (2008), in which she seems to create paintings video methods. Immersed into Vermeer-like light structures, the small-format black-and-white views show scenes from a serene everyday life, and the slow camera work supports an intimate view of the meticulously staged protagonists. The exhibition’s extensive arrangement does justice to the sequence of the content and the reference among the works themselves, as well as the technical scheme of her extremely diversified video works. In co-operation with the artist, the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau placed numerous Black Boxes in the White Cube of its exhibition space, offering the works an optimal ambience, and allowing the atmosphere to unfold with the greatest possible effect. By Sylvia Mutti Aargauer Kunsthaus 5001 Aarau, Aargauerplatz Tel: +41 062 835 23 30 Fax: +41 062 835 23 29 http://www.aargauerkunsthaus.ch Opening hours: Tue – Sun 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. , Thu 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Aargauer Kunsthaus
5001 Aarau, Aargauerplatz
Tel: +41 62 835 23 30, Fax: +41 62 835 23 29
Öffnungszeiten: Di - So 10:00 - 17:00, Do 10:00 - 20:00

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