Shadow Archive I-IV

A strange glow pervades Fiona Tan’s Shadow Archive, illuminating a well-organized collection of endless archival drawers. The project originates from Tan’s fascination for the Belgian visionary Paul Otlet (1868–1944), and his ambitious idea to catalogue all human knowledge in order to build world peace.
Together with Henri La Fontaine, Otlet developed the idea of a world archive, the Mundaneum, in 1895. For almost forty years Otlet worked determinedly on the archive, cataloguing all kinds of human knowledge on index cards stored in large wooden cabinets. Otlet and La Fontaine developed the ‘Universal Decimal Classification’, a numerical system of cross-references to offer permanent free access to the archive. Today, the Mundaneum is known as the ‘Paper Google’ and considered a milestone in data collection and management, the basic idea behind the Internet.

Fiona Tan has built the architecture of Otlet’s Mundaneum in 1:1 scale using computer generated imagery software. Whilst Tan’s circular architecture is registered in all its details the actual place does not exist. The series of photogravures shows Tan’s imagined interior views of Otlet’s never completed utopian archive.

Fiona Tan

Shadow Archive I, 2019

Only available as a set of 4

Print technique
Photogravure
Paper
Somerset White Satin 300g
Dimensions
Paper size 28.5 x 37.5 cm – Plate size 20.5 x 31.5 cm
Edition
Edition of 12
Registration no
FiT 19 002-1
Printer
Printed by Thomas Jennions, Mette Ulstrup
Publisher
Published by BORCH Editions

Signed and numbered by the artist

Fiona Tan

Shadow Archive II, 2019

Only available as a set of 4

Print technique
Photogravure
Paper
Somerset White Satin 300g
Dimensions
Paper size 28.5 x 37.5 cm – Plate size 20.5 x 31.5 cm
Edition
Edition of 12
Registration no
FiT 19 002-2
Printer
Printed by Thomas Jennions, Mette Ulstrup
Publisher
Published by BORCH Editions

Signed and numbered by the artist

Fiona Tan

Shadow Archive III, 2019

Only available as a set of 4

Print technique
Photogravure
Paper
Somerset White Satin 300g
Dimensions
Paper size 28.5 x 37.5 cm – Plate size 20.5 x 31.5 cm
Edition
Edition of 12
Registration no
FiT 19 002-3
Printer
Printed by Thomas Jennions, Mette Ulstrup
Publisher
Published by BORCH Editions

Signed and numbered by the artist

Fiona Tan

Shadow Archive IV, 2019

Only available as a set of 4

Print technique
Photogravure
Paper
Somerset White Satin 300g
Dimensions
Paper size 28.5 x 37.5 cm – Plate size 20.5 x 31.5 cm
Edition
Edition of 12
Registration no
FiT 19 002-4
Printer
Printed by Thomas Jennions
Publisher
Published by BORCH Editions

Signed and numbered by the artist

Fiona Tan

Shadow Archive IV, 2019

Only available as a set of 4

Print technique
Photogravure
Paper
Somerset White Satin 300g
Dimensions
Paper size 28.5 x 37.5 cm – Plate size 20.5 x 31.5 cm
Edition
Edition of 12
Registration no
FiT 19 002-4
Printer
Printed by Thomas Jennions
Publisher
Published by BORCH Editions

Signed and numbered by the artist

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