Fiona Tan has transformed the gallery at Soho Square into something resembling a lived-in space. It might be the home of a rather eccentric recluse, or even a squat. The absent inhabitant seems to be a hoarder who is both obsessive and neat, messy and chaotic. This highly personal place would appear to be both shelter and laboratory. The presence of its unknown protagonist surrounds the viewer, creating a slippage from filmic to material space.
Within this environment Tan has placed three new film pieces, originally commissioned by the Kunstzone of the Rabobank Nederlands for her exhibition Options and Futures and shot in locations in the USA, The Republic of Ireland, and Japan. At a time which historians have described as an age of ‘rolling catastrophe,’ each film examines our epoch from a certain standpoint. In these places decay and devastation are painfully visible; Detroit, a flourishing city that slowly slid into bankruptcy, Cork, where, as a result of the financial crash of 2008, vast complexes of ‘luxury’ housing were abandoned sometimes even before completion, and Fukushima, where the fast and merciless devastation by both earthquake and tsunami, was compounded by radioactive fall-out. Whilst the visitor is invited to choose a path and narrative within these particular rooms, Tan’s camera searches among the piles of rubble for the building blocks of something new, for some kind of aftermath.