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Dearest Fiona

by Fiona Tan
Netherlands, 2023, 102’
Presented at the 16th edition of Lo schermo dell’arte, 2023
Screenplay, Fiona Tan
Editing: Natalie Alonso Casale
Voice over Ian Henderson
Sound: Hugo Dijkstal Producer: Antithesis Films
vo: English; st: Italian
The third feature film by artist Fiona Tan, who represented the Netherlands at the 2009 Venice Biennale, is a journey through time and space that connects distant places and events. The little-known images of daily life in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 20th century were selected by the artist from works in the archives of the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. The scenes, often hand-coloured, show Dutch women in traditional costume, winter landscapes, harvests, fishing, trade, windmills, tulips and animals. In an historical parallel many years after those images were recorded, a voice-over reads the letters that Tan’s father sent her from Australia after she left for Amsterdam to study art at the end of the 80s: a correspondence on the small events of daily life or local politics that interweaves epochal events such as the Tiananmen Square massacre, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the election of Mandela in South Africa. Through a hypnotic montage, the juxtaposition of word and image merges micro and macro history, in a journey suspended halfway between dream and reality.
Fiona Tan (born 1966 in Pekanbaru, Indonesia, lives and works in Amsterdam) Recent solo exhibitions took place at the Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam (2022-23), the Museum der Moderne Salzburg together with Kunsthalle Krems (2020-21), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2019), Museum für Modern Kunst, Frankfurt (2016), De Pont Museum, Tilburg (2017). She represented The Netherlands at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009). Her work has been shown at various international group shows including in the h3h biënnale (2023), São Paulo Biennial (2010), Venice Architecture Biennale (2010), Documenta 11 (2002), Istanbul Biennale (2001).
Selected Filmography
2016 Ascent; 2015 History’s Future; 2000 Kingdom of Shadows