EAST-WEST

Fiona Tan Meets Marco Polo in the Dutch pavilion

The Biennale celebrated the opening of the Dutch pavilion, featuring three video installations from artist Fiona Tan—Rise and Fall, Provenance, and her latest, Disorient. Intended to describe a time when Venice was at the center of the world, Tan combined Marco Polo’s descriptions of the city with images of the present to depict the inability of the West to understand and appreciate the East. “The lack of comprehension of other cultures and societies … is just as pertinent and tragic today as it was seven hundred years ago,” Tan said of her installation. “Venice is—literally and figuratively speaking—my point of departure and return, and this merchant of Venice is my unlikely guide.”