19 March - 12 June 2010
Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation’s (SCAF) first exhibition for 2010 presents two video installations by internationally renowned artist Fiona Tan. Disorient, 2009, which was first shown to great acclaim at the Dutch Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009), will screen at SCAF, Paddington, Sydney andA Lapse of Memory, 2007, will show at the National Art School Gallery, Darlinghurst, Sydney.
In Disorient, Tan refers to Venice’s pivotal position in the history of geostrategy before the discovery of new routes to Asia diluted the city’s power. Tan’s fascination with history, time and memory led her to explore the world as seen through the eyes of Marco Polo who left home at the age of seventeen and travelled extensively for the next twenty-five years. Disorient attempts to bridge the centuries by creating connections between contemporary day-to-day reality and the symbolic past that every visitor to Venice wants to grasp.
A Lapse of Memory takes an unexpected look at the pervasive dichotomy of east and west. In a speculative scenario, the life of a confused, old man, Henry unfolds in a deserted building that looks like a palace. Extravagant interiors are revealed in passing while the viewer slowly becomes privy to a day in Henry’s withdrawn life. Tan’s skillfully crafted and moving films inhabit the lacuna that exists between the tangible world of fact and the intangible world of perception, challenging not only our view of history but also our understanding of how memory works.
Fiona Tan was born in Indonesia, grew up in Australia and now lives and works in the Netherlands. Previous presentations include solo and group exhibitions at the New Museum (New York), Tate Modern (London), Documenta 11 (Kassel), Yokohama Triennale (Japan), and the Istanbul Biennial (Turkey).
A fully illustrated catalogue featuring a new essay on Fiona Tan’s work by curator and writer Juliana Engberg accompanies the exhibition.