31.12.13

looking back// 2013 // life


//best moments//
1/ I married my best friend | 2/ sweet little moments in a home named HONG | 3/ folk afternoon on the rooftop | 4/ the residency to Manila | 5/ that contemplative short trip to Jakarta at the end of the year | 

//writings//
1/ profiles for BJXII artist | 2/ the memories of unidentified experience | 3/ some articles I wrote on artists' studios in Dewi and Elle Decor (link will be posted later) |

//curatorial and projects//

(the year has been nice and wonderful-- and as Alfred Tennyson say: “Hope. Smiles from the threshold of the year to come; whispering 'it will be happier'...”)


30.12.13

looking back // 2013 // art



//9 favorite exhibitions//
(It was pretty hard to choose from the Turning Targets programs made by Cemeti Art House this year to celebrate their 25th anniversary. I find "Pseudo Partisipative", "Realities, Cemeti Archived", and  "Dobrak!" exceptionally important; but.. "One Night Stand" is my personal favorite. It was actually a party and a one-night art project which shows the powerful aura of Cemeti as an art space. Almost anything staged in the gallery was transformed and agreed as a work of art. It makes some people rethink about that very old question on conceptual art of 'what is art and what is not art' while at the same time being careless, fun, and loud. It was a celebration with a twist of irony and humor-- art doesn't have to be so serious, and yet it is. All and all, it was *the* party of the year!) 

(How often do you find one single work that offers a complete package of experience and beauty followed with stream of thought? This is exactly that. Using only a single video and the gallery room as an artistic statement, this exhibition is bold and daring. When you enter the gallery, you will sure be overwhelmed by darkness, waterfall-like sound, and a gigantic single panel video that covers the whole wall in front of you-- showing a stream of words continuously falling and at the end creates a red waterfall of words and information. The experience is somehow physical; creating what I identify as powerless feeling and  unusual connection with the work.. as if you are standing in the middle of heavy rain of words and sentences. Actually, there are two other works in this show but for me, the single video did all the magic!)

(Declare itself as a non-exhibition but a happening, this event has everything it takes to be called an exhibition: it's held in a gallery, showing staged art pieces, and there are artists and a curator too. What makes this interesting is the fact that the whole exhibition--or happening-- was conceptualized as a  class room where everyone can learn from each other every day through lesson or artist talk. The member of the class are senior artists who are willing to drink their water and refill the glass with newness. This concept of sharing and working on a process together is also shown in Cemeti's Pseudo Partisipative-- both has their own potentials and highlight, of course.)

(For a city so chaotic and individual, the project-based and community-based works in this biennale are very relevant. It was also witty-- to say the least, and they live up the theme to every part of it and do the tactics in almost every aspects. One of the main exhibition is held in a basement and it was unusually brilliant! The other main exhibition is held in a museum and it literally makes people come all the way downtown to the heritage area. They even provide a tour all around the city to all the exhibition spots. Jakarta Biennale shows the success of an elaborate art events and projects throughout the city!)

(The Equator concept is an ambitious way to 'travel' around the world. The mobility theme give it a bit of playful side while the Equator Festival and Parallel Events offer many kind of artworks for different audiences and projects to reach many kinds of communities. As expected, biennale Jogja was grand and majestic.

(With the involvement of several well known artists who used to work with comics in their early career, the event shows how important alternative comic was to the art scene in Jogja since 1990. This is a part of Equator Festival of Biennale Jogja XII and the awarding night was as hilarious as what people has been talking about based on the previous Dagingtumbuh award. Very refreshing indeed!)

(There are several things that I like about this project: first, the artists are invited to make a collaborative project through a long process of sharing and negotiation; second, the familiarity and how the exhibition itself become the result of the collaboration; and third, it was very very playful. The audience are invited to actually play with those pieces and somehow, the space was humble enough to encourage people to touch the artwork. It was a nice playground for children and the child inside everyone.)

(After the whole biennale hopping, a simple silk-screen exhibition about hometown and how environment affect the elephant can feel like a glass of ice tea in the middle of the day.. especially when the exhibition is so easy in the eyes. Using soft-saturated color and sweet image of an elephant, Rudi tells a melancholic story of that magical creature in relation with the changes and his childhood memory.. creating a heartwarming show that is fun to watch!)

(Seems like the old question of art-not art, ready-made, negation, and the power play of an art institution become the artist's interest recently. In this show, Wimo displayed the containers and ready-mades in an art exhibition style completed with the artificial lighting and formal exhibition invitation, speech, catalog, etc. Some of the containers are empty and some others contain real artworks from the Mes56 boys. He invites some of his friends to perform in the closing night and invite the audience to do things that is normally can not be done in an art gallery: touch the artwork, move the composition, even sit on it. The result was less wild than it sound but the idea was pretty fun at that time) 

//5 favorite artworks//
(Trying not to objectify the transgender, Jimmy Ong creates a living room as a neutral ground that allow people to enter and have one-on-one conversation with the Makcik; resulting on an equal connections between two people as person to person despite their gender role. Aside from this, I also find Ferial Afif's project from last year in Makcik Project when she creates formal ID card for the third gender very intriguing. In general, the Makcik Project is somehow feels warm and intimate)

(In the middle of over-the-top artworks showed in ArtJog, this one tiny piece of golden spice was successfully generate the whole idea of Maritime Culture. I remember chatting with a friend about the kind of work that move me the most: it's like the heart of artichoke. You see, there is the whole piece of artichoke which can be an artpiece by its own and hiding the complexity that you can later explain layer by layer. Then, you can peel off the layer one by one and inside it, there is the best part of it: the heart of the artichoke. This is exactly just that. The Gold Nutmeg by Titarubi tells about the essence of the history and complexity of the maritime culture of Indonesia in a very simple form of object-- brilliantly!)

(In the middle of performance-art-as-visual-art stream in Jogja's art scene, one that is actually well thought and well-performed is exceptionally fresh and relieving. In Masya Allah Transgenic, Agung Kurniawan orchestrate a performance about food sovereignty, inviting the audience to join the act that familiarly known as local ritual of prayer and dinner with a very local setup that ironically made by imported ingredients. The prayer that the leader read was a speech text of the first president of Indonesia who is all about nationalism--giving this whole performance a cynical twist.)

4/ M.R. Adytama Pranada Charda's work for Hot Wave #6 & Jakarta Biennale: Siasat
(I know..I know.. it's not fair to list more than one work in 5 favorite artworks list--but I just can't help it. Charda's work for Hot Wave #6 was exceeding expectation and his video for Jakarta Biennale was exceptionally smart. I was fooled by what I thought was the museum's collection of Affandi, Sudjojono, Bagong K, and other historical figure in Indonesian art history-- until, there goes Charda's video telling the story about this fictional artist who he mystified and apparently, the whole thing was a fraud. Hilarious! But then again..what is art but make-believe, right?)

(Entering the green room of Eko Nugroho's Garden with Twin Moon always gives me a delightful feeling mixed with bitter irony-- that is very Eko Nugroho, I must say. The words he wrote makes people smile, curious, provoked, and tickled. Those wordplays are completed with colorful works that is just as humorous and filled with dark stories of social issues.)

//5 notes on other notable projects//
(Instead of having full-set of stage and visually appealing costume, this event bring the whole thing to the very basic mode: reading. Expect to see only people dressing casually, sitting on the floor or the chair before they start to read. With such simplicity on the visual aspect, the audience have the freedom to let their mind wander and live up the story to their imagination. Every year, I find delightful surprise in IDRF and long for more.) 

(Rabbit Hole Theory is the reading club by Kunci Cultural Studies. This time they discuss the book by Claire Bishop: Artificial Hells which open for active participants and listeners. Somehow I feel that this book has inspired some people and brings certain influences to their artwork/ projects from the middle of 2013 to today. If I to summarize Jogja's art in 2013 in sentence, I would refer to the opening quote in this book: "All artists are alike. They dream of doing something that's more social, more collaborative, and more real than art."-Dan Graham.) 

3/ Lelagu
(Lelagu is a mix of acoustic music and visual art event held by KKF and Kanaltigapuluh every month. The combination of the two things level it up to the perfect balance, creating a harmonious dialogue between the art scene and young music crowd.) 

4/ 9m15s
(9m15s is a series of 9 minutes and 15 seconds performances followed by discussion. What makes this even more experimental is how people from many kind of backgrounds other than performing art and theater are allowed to perform a piece; creating a rich variety of composition-- responsibly.) 
  
(After 15 years, Teater Garasi re-performed this absurd and well-known play by Samuel Beckett with the same composition of actors who did the parts in 1998. The first time they play this oeuvre, the political and social condition of Indonesia was completely different with how it is today-- giving the play a new breath and meaning for the lucky audiences who witness both. Personally, this is the most-anticipated play this year which I (sadly) missed.) 

//3 great exhibitions that i missed//

1/ "Treshold | Ambang" by Takashi Kuribayashi at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space
2/ "Pelicin" at Salihara

29.12.13

looking back // 2013 // lir space


//exhibition and projects//
1/ simalakamma and the agents of senses - simalakamma | 2/ white cube project - ben fox | 3/ familiar face - dwi putra | 4/ feels like home - group exhibition at KPY | 5/ via regia - ketjilbergerak | 6/ eye to eye - budi nd dharmawan & kurniadi widodo | 7/ lunang - iwan effendi | 8/ gendis - lala bohang | 9/ happymart - mahaputra vito | 10/ the kaliurang project - group residency | 11/ friend visit friend #1 - dex fernandex | 12/ kita-kits! - dex fernandez X prihatmoko moki- terra bajraghosa- farid stevy asta | 

(We started the year with a 'behind the scene' exhibition of Simalakamma's products which was feminine and sweet. There was also an exchange exhibition between Lir and KPY: Familiar Face at Lir and Feels Like Home at KPY which were fun and friendly. Two of my personal favorite were a notable process exhibition of Lunang that feels like a sea adventure followed with a journey to the surreal solitary world of Gendis. Then, the space was brought back to reality and turned into a mini market in Happymart. This year, we also started a pilot project for two residency programs at Lir: one for a short site-specific group residency and the other one is an independent residency program that we host. All and all.. compared to the previous year, Lir Space was less busy. Yet, the exhibitions were a little bit more daring than before. There were also many new things and lessons learned. I am looking forward for a new adventurous year ahead!)

27.12.13

you are so deer to me

hey! 
you know what?


you are so deer to me.

the deer and unexpected soirée

deer (di(ə)r/)
noun
a hoofed grazing or browsing animal, with branched bony antlers that are shed annually and typically borne only by the male.

soirée (swäˈrā/)
noun
an evening party or gathering, typically in a private house, for conversation or music.

(When I was about to start this new blog about art, spaces, inspirations, books, thought, and the fine things in life; I was thinking about the grown up version of The Picnic Girl. I do not spend that much of time under the tree anymore..yet, I still enjoy it nevertheless. That is how it has to contain a certain element of the nature and reflects my current lifestyle at the same time. That's how the title come up.

On my wedding day (which was the day that being the picnic girl is no more relevant); everything that I wear symbolize something.. yet, one thing that always stay in my mind is the way they draw two lines at the end of the bride's eyebrows and make it looks like an antler. Apparently, it does represent the image of a deer-- for a woman is expected to be agile and tough, while at the same time remain graceful. Unconsciously, I start collecting deer figurines to remind me of the three qualities of a deer. As for the soirée, that is to illustrate the world I live in right now. Having spent a lot of time on a small gathering for a conversation every now and then, I feel that the word wrap things up pretty well. Beside.. life recently feels like an unexpected soirée)

So, voila!