Fiona Tan (b. 1966)
6 video projectors, 6 media players, 6 amplifiers, 6 hifi speakers,
6 rear projection screens, size: 145 cm x 110 cm
‘In Ms. Tan’s video portraits, the inmates and guards are stationary, taking our measure as much as we’re taking theirs. She posed her subjects as still as possible during the taping sessions, and they stand head-on, staring directly into the camera, centered within the frame. The are displayed on dix flat-panel video screens, for 20 to 50 seconds each; 300 inmates and prison guards appear over the course of three hours. Movement is almost imperceptible as you watch – you’re never quite sure you just saw the blink of an eye or the twitch of a muscle.
‘The screens hang in a circle, with benches for the viewer in the center. The circular configuration is a deliberate reference to the Panopticon, a spherical prison plan designed by the utopian philosopher Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century as a way to centralize the surveillance of prisoners.’
Is That Portrait Staring at Me?
- Philip Gefter, The New York Times, 10 April 2005
"Ten Women Who Use Film" curated by Jennifer Higgie