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campaign image Fiona Tan - Mountains and Molehills

Disco, angels and other kinds of space time travel

Fiona Tan and guests: art, film, science

This program features work by artists and filmmakers John Akomfrah, Rosa Barba, Elizabeth Price and Fiona Tan. The evening takes place as part of the symposium Mountains and Molehills, organized by the Academy of Arts around Fiona Tan's work at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences.

poster Fiona Tan: Disco, angels and other kinds of space time travel

Fiona Tan is known for her video and film installations exploring memories, history, globalisation and the role of images. From 2 October to 8 January, her work can be seen at Eye in the exhibition Mountains and Molehills.

On 2 December the Mountains and Molehills symposium will take place in the auditorium of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences on the Kloveniersburgwal in Amsterdam. This symposium revolves around topics that Fiona Tan believes are crucial to address today. Topics that have the potential to reach out across different disciplines and supposed oppositions: art versus science, theory versus practice, physical versus immaterial, original versus copy, memory versus interpretation. Participating artists, theorists and scientists include Douwe Draaisma, Rosa Barba, Elizabeth Price, Hanneke Grootenboer, Erika Balsom, Christa Blümlinger, Patricia Pisters and Sophie Berrebi. More information and registration.

The program starts with a conversation between Fiona Tan, Elizabeth Price and Rosa Barba. The following films will be screened:


  • Rosa Barba, Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage (2021)

    Inside the Outset is a project that consists of two parts: a film and a long-term open-air cinema installation within the 180-kilometre UN-controlled "Green Line Buffer Zone" in Cyprus. This area divides the island between North and South, and forms the starting point of Barba’s artistic intervention. The film was shot in Cyprus, including underwater shots of the Mazotos shipwreck, as well as aerial shots of archaeological sites. The film follows Barba’s artistic approach of examining liminal states which manifest in between contested spaces, both mentally and geographically, in order to offer a new perspective.

  • Elizabeth Price, User Group Disco (2009)

    This work is the second video in Price’s series New, Ruined Institute. Each episode in the series takes place in a different room within a fictional institution created by the artist. User Group Disco is set in the Hall of Sculptures, although only a series of mundane objects and utensils are visible, swirling in a black void. There is no evident architecture or human presence. Text flashes up on the screen which builds a narrative about these objects, the institution which holds them and the desire for consumerism. The work is accompanied by an immersive soundtrack developed especially for the video.

  • Fiona Tan, News from the Near Future (2003)

    News from the Near Future contains a number of key elements in the work of Fiona Tan: it explores memory and the passing of time through archive footage in black and white sourced from Eye's collection and tinted in order to create an almost painterly texture. The recurrent motif is water - the sea, on which sail all kinds of boats from small yachts to much bigger steamships; waves washing the seashore; landscapes with huge waterfalls and the disasters that leave floods in their wake remind us of the ambivalence in the relationship between man and nature.

  • John Akomfrah, The Last Angel of History (1996)

    The Last Angel of History is a sci-fi documentary about Africa, history and memory. Legend has it that in the 1930s itinerant blues man Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in order to play the blues. What he got in return was a black secret: technology which would produce the history of black music. 200 years into the future another itinerant figure, the Data Thief, sells his soul for the knowledge of his future. The Last Angel Of History takes us on a voyage, from the margins of black culture to its interstellar heart. The film charts a new interface, striking up connections and dialogues between diverse black interstellar parties who have so much in common, and yet for the most part remain unaware of each other’s existence from Sunra to Nichelle Nichols, George Clinton to Lee Perry, A Guy Called Gerald, Goldie and Underground Resistance.

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Eye on Art

Eye on Art is a programme on the intersection between film and other arts. Eye on Art keeps up with current events, with presentations on contemporary artists and programmes that coincide with important exhibitions, manifestations and Eye activities.

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