Fiona Tan: L’Archive des ombres / Shadow Archive
Sophie Berrebi, Patrica Falguière, Denis Gielen & Fiona Tan
MAC's Grand Hornu, 2019
The Dutch artist Fiona Tan is well known for her photography, film, and video installations in which she frequently addresses ideas of identity, memory, and history. This publication documents on one hand recent works including a new large scale project commissioned by the Grand-Hornu Museum of Contemporary Arts in Mons, Belgium and presented here for the first time. This work, titled Shadow Archive, is inspired by Paul Otlet (1868-1944), considered to be one of the forefathers of information science. Shadow Archive deals in particular with Otlet’s decades-long utopian quest to establish a central repository for the world’s information; between 1919 and 1934, Otlet and his team assembled more than 16 million index cards of data. This book incorporate previously unpublished original drawings and notes drafted by Otlet selected by Fiona Tan for her installation, an amazing archive which reveal his visionary and creative personality as well as his exploration of the limits of the human knowledge.