Exhibition

Diverting Politics of (Re)Presentation

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May 13, 2020 – June 2, 2019

Gajah Gallery Yogyakarta
Indonesia

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How does access to new media channels of communication and dissemination, popular culture and post-truth politics influence the ways in which we perceive dominant narratives of representation today? What are the subversive and disruptive potentials of humor to criticize such systems of legitimization and agency? And furthermore, can we trace visual rhetorical mechanisms that provoke a humorous reading of otherwise serious subjects? The group exhibition presents a collection of past and recent works by young and emerging artists, groups and artistic producers from different regions (Yogyakarta, Jakarta, and Taipei) and from various artistic backgrounds. It highlights new forms of political criticism through humorous rhetoric driven by and interwoven with mainstream media and current dominant narratives, popular culture and post-truth aesthetics/politics.

Diverting Politics of (Re)Presentation points on one side to the action of turning into a different direction while on another register it means to amuse or entertain (divertissement). In this twofold interpretation, the exhibition tries to look at how narrations of history, political subjects and agencies are interrupted, re-interpreted and looked at from different angles while addressing apparent light-hearted contents. The audience in invited to reflect on these issues and examine the dynamic role of humor in making and remaking identity politics, and power relations of representation and truth.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Agan Harahap (b. 1980, Jakarta, Indonesia), began his career as a painter and illustrator when he was a graphic design student at STDI (Design and Art College) in Bandung, Indonesia. After graduating in 2005, he moved to Jakarta, where he worked as a digital imaging artist, then as a photographer for the Indonesian music publication, Trax Magazine. In 2008, he was a finalist for the Indonesian Art Award. A year later, he held his first solo exhibition at MES 56 in Yogyakarta and participated in other photography exhibitions. He became a fulltime artist in 2011. His works combine fantasy and reality to present satire or parodies of human life. He has exhibited in Southeast Asia, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Portugal and Colombia. He lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Chia-Wei Hsu (b. 1983, Taiwan) an artist, filmmaker, and curator based in Taiwan whose work merges the language of contemporary art and film, often unveiling the complex production apparatus – cameras, camera cranes, lighting kits, microphones, etc. – employed in the filmmaking process. In his practice, Hsu unearths histories of the Cold War in Asia buried in precise geographical locations and brings them back to life through narrative and visual sequences that blend myth and reality, historical documentation and fictional developments. Fabricating a mythical narrative where stories, spirits, and machineries unfold on the same level, Hsu maintains a critical attitude toward the structure of film and often seeks to present his projects outside of museums and other contemporary art venues.

Cut and Rescue (Jakarta) is an artist group who works across mediums, from collages of images and texts, sound and video pieces, to experimental and performative actions. Cut and Rescue retrieve, copy, and save cultural artifacts intertwined across communities, which have been considered banal and low, such as newspaper headlines. In the context of art, Cut and Rescue has participated in several activities such as Jakarta 32C 2012 (Best 5 Works), Jakarta Biennale 2013, part of GUDSKUL Jakarta agenda (2019), and appeared in several music festivals.

Dagingtumbuh (Yogyakarta ) was for the first time introduced to the public as an undergroud comic. Initiated, developed, and brought up by Eko Nugroho, its first edition was published on June, 2000. Through the concept of encountering-mainstreams which were massively acquiesced, the dgtmb implemented an open contribution system: whoever may participate and express whatever, forgoing any selection yet curation processes. As an independent media, the dgtmb was vended throughout independent market linkages as well: from hand-to-hand dealings.

Indieguerillas (Yogyakarta) founded in 1999, is a duet of artist from Yogyakarta-Indonesia. They are the couple Santi Ariestyowanti, and Dyatmiko “Miko” Bawono. The former has the Visual Communication Design background and the latter Interior Design. Both are alumni of The Faculty of Art of the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta (ISI Yogyakarta). In addition to their being known for their interest in folklores, Indieguerillas are also recognized for their proficiency at visual effects and inter- media experimentation in their works.

Jim Allen Abel (b. 1975 Makassar, Indonesia) aka Jimbo completed a Bachelor of Arts in photography at Indonesian Art Institute in 2005. After graduating he went on to work as a commercial photographer for some of Indonesia’s top music bands touring extensively throughout the archipelago. Since leaving commercial photography work, Jimbo has gone on to present his work at Korean International Art Fair, Photography Biennale Musee du Quay Paris France, CP Biennale Jakarta, Art Stage Singapore, Art Dubai, Art | Jog, Cryptic Festival Glasgow Scotland, Bazaar Art Jakarta, Centre for Contemporary Photography Melbourne, Ricoh Ring Cube Tokyo, White Cube Gallery Kuala Lumpur, Element Art Space Singapore, Bangkok Cultural Art Centre, SongEun Seoul, Oz Fest Adelaide, Cemeti Art House and D Galeri Jakarta.

Born 1983 in Kebumen, Uji ‘Hahan’ Handoko got his start at the Faculty of Fine Art at Indonesia Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta. In an eventful 2008, he was named a finalist in the top 30s for the Sovereign Art Prize, and undertook National Art Studio’s artist in residence program, in Seoul, Korea. Some of his more prolific shows include, ArtJog14, Jogjakarta (2014); The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (2012); National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta (2011); Primo Marella Gallery, Milan (2011); Korea International Art Fair, Seoul (2010); Kedai Kebun Forum, Yogyakarta (2010); Biennale Jogja X, Yogyakarta (2009) and Havana Biennale, Cuba (2009).

Salima Hakim was born and raised in Jakarta in a multicultural family. She has a deep admiration for Egyptian mummies which triggered her interest in history and consequently started teaching history in different universities in Jakarta and Tangerang since 2007. She now works as a historian professor at Multimedia Nusantara University and is also an art practitioner, although she considers herself always in a process of learning. She most often engages with installation works involving the technique of sewing through which she speaks about tolerance, womenhood and environmental issues. She joined various exhibitions among which Rusuh Resah (2014), Jogja Artweeks (2015), WWF Campaign for Sumatran Elephants (2015), The House of the Unsilenced (2017) and most recently a female group exhibition entitled Masa Subur: Efek Samping (2018).

Yovista Ahtajida (Jakarta) is an independent artist and filmmaker who is graduated from Communication Studies of University of Indonesia. In 2012, he established The Youngrrr, a videomaking collective that produces a number of video art works and experimental films. His work with The Youngrrr has been presented around the world, among others are European Media Art Festival (EMAF) 2014, the 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) Forum Expanded, and Jakarta Biennale 2015. His solo works have been presented in Video Vortex XII Kochi Muziris Biennale, W:OW Torrance Art Museum Los Angeles, and nominated in Bandung Contemporary Art Award #5. His solo exhibition “Hijrah” was held in 2018 at LIR Space, Yogyakarta.

Yu Cheng-Ta (b.1983, Tainan, Taiwan) holds a B.A. and an M.F.A from the Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan. In 2008, he received the 1st place of Taipei Arts Award (TFAM, Taipei) and was awarded the Beacon Prize at Art Fair Tokyo in 2012. Yu participated in the 6th Taipei Biennial and was selected as one of the artists to represent Taiwan at the 53rd Venice Biennale.

 In 2009, he participated in the Biennial Cuvée 08 at OK center for Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria, and in 2012, he participated in the 5th International Biennial of Media Art at Experimenta in Melbourne, Australia and Made in Asia Art Festival in Toulouse, France. In 2013, he held a solo exhibition at Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan and participated in the Asian Art Biennial at National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; Queens International at Queens Museum in New York, USA. Recently, he held a solo exhibition at Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan and participated in the 2nd CAFA Biennial in Beijing; the 10th Shanghai Biennial in China. In 2015, he participated in the 56th Berlin International Film Festival Forum Expanded.

Vendy Methodos (Yogyakarta) is among the most prolific of Jogja’s street artists, producing wall art that extends his passion for human interaction. Methodos openly uses public objects and spaces in conjuring his works, giving the people reflections of their own communities. His infectious positive attitude and respect to the tenets of craft have earned him admiration among peers and international viewers.

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Adelina Luft (b. 1989 Romania) is an independent curator based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. After finishing a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations at SNSPA Bucharest, she left for Indonesia where she received a MA degree in Visual Art Studie s. Surrounded by collectives, communitie s, and bottom-up practices of curating and thinking for over 4 years, Adelina experiments with open-ended, multi- disciplinary curatorial propositions involving young and emerging Indonesian artists. Her academic research on South biennials and the long involvement in Jogja Biennale Equator is at the basis of her continual effort to develop horizontal, decolonized, international curatorial exchanges, particularly by bridging and representing Indonesian artists abroad. She curated exhibitions in Indonesia and undergone several curatorial residencies, among which in Vienna, Bucharest, and Taipei.