Fiona Tan. Rise and Fall

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The Galerie de l’UQAM will inaugurate an exhibition of recent creations by Dutch artist Fiona Tan, whose work dazzled visitors to the Dutch Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall features a selection of video installations that reveals several themes used by the artist to question the cultural identity. Fiona Tan is a major figure in the international art scene. The project, co-organised by the Vancouver Art Gallery and Aargauer Kunsthaus (Switzerland), is curated by Bruce Grenville, senior curator of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The exhibition

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. Deeply embedded in all of 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. Together these comprise the connective threads of this exhibition. Again and again she shows us that, like the waters that figure so prominently in her videos, past and present are not static entities. They remain in constant and meaningful contact with one another, always in a state of flux.

The catalogue

The exhibition is accompanied by a 128-page full-colour publication featuring the artist’s work and major essays by exhibition curator, Bruce Grenville; Okwui Enwezor, curently adjunct curator at International Center of Photography, New York and the forthcoming director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich; Michael Newman, associate professor of art history, theory and criticism at the Art Institute of Chicago; Irit Rogoff, professor of visual culture at Goldsmiths College at London University and Madeleine Schuppli, director of the Aargauer Kunstaus.

The artist

Born in Indonesia in 1966, Fiona Tan grew up in Australia. She received her formal art training in Amsterdam and has been living in the Netherlands since the late 1980s. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in international venues, including the Dutch Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2008; Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2008; Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, 2005; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 2004; Tate Modern, London, 2004; Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 2002; Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, 2003; Documenta 11, Kassel, 2002; and the 49th Venice Biennale, 2002.

The curator

Bruce Grenville is Senior Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He has organized many group exhibitions, including Home and Away: Crossing Cultures on the Pacific Rim and The Post-Colonial Landscape Project and numerous solo exhibitions and projects for artists including those on Michael Lin, Stan Douglas, Janet Cardiff, Franz West and Wang Du. He was the founding editor of the YYZ Books: Critical Works series and a former Toronto editor of Parachute magazine.

Free public activity

Nuit blanche: On February 26, the Galerie will be open from 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. for the benefit of night owls celebrating La Nuit blanche.