Gajah Gallery Yogyakarta is proud to present Medium at Play, a visual and performance art exhibition curated by Dr. Wulan Dirgantoro and Jason Lim.
Medium at Play explores the relationship between the artist and their materials. While visual artists have always worked closely with their chosen medium, for this exhibition the invited artists are asked to explore and to reflect about their materials in more depth through reflecting on the questions: what does it mean to give agency to the material, to follow the material and to act with the material?
The artists approach these questions through several ways; firstly, to engage with the physicality of their material, things that can be sensed and verified by their audience, thus to let the material speak as an acknowledgement to their Eigenleben (“life of its own”). Secondly, to consider how materials can leave behind the confines of white cube aesthetic, specifically how they can obstruct or interfere with social norms, allowing repressed, messy or unstable substances to surface. And lastly, to engage with materiality in art is also to see that the decision to choose the materials for their art can also become political: it means to look at the processes of making and their associated power relations.
The curatorial rationale seeks to engage the artists, their materials and the audience in a network of communication. From this perspective, the experience of the audience becomes essential, providing the engagement with art through bodily perception. Furthermore, the aim of the exhibition is also to locate the practices of the artists within sociocultural and historical perspectives as well as to open up the meaning of the material used in their works to their everyday or non-art connotations.