The use of video for artistic purposes in Indonesia dates back to the late 1980s, when pioneersbegan to experiment with video in order to expand the scope of their artistic creations. However, the influence of video in contemporary art in Indonesia is not the result of innovations within the artistic field; rather it is a critical positioning towards the entertainment industry and, above all, a critique of television.
, the government television channel was manipulated and controlled for propaganda purposes. However, with the growing market in Indonesia in the late 80s and early 90s, the entertainment industry grew and new television channels appeared. Video rental stores and video readers for private use also began to proliferate. Thus, home cinema emerged as an alternative to the unilateral view presented by the government.
In the late 1990s, and particularly during the fall ofin 1998, video played an important role as an instrument of denunciation against unacceptable social and political events. These videos showed messages that went beyond what was presented and accepted by the government, and documented the reality that the government was hiding from its people. In Indonesia, both in politics and in art, video has been used as a means of documentation and as a means of creating images that respond to specific social and political contexts.
Since 2003, thehas been organising the , which takes place biannually in the capital. One of the aims of the festival is to raise awareness of video in a creative sense and to introduce the medium to mainstream audiences. The festival is thematic and, since its first edition, has been internationally conceived. It also gives particular emphasis to the content rather than technical experimentations of the medium – echoing the origins of Indonesian video art. The social and political context of the work is important for the selection of videos featured in the festival.
Curator’s research supported by.
Para Site Art Space is honoured to present, a new project developed by in collaboration with theatre director . The history of Indonesian culture, as part of the and former colonized countries, can be read as narratives of a nation that is perpetually in an situation or state of transition. From pre-colonial to colonial periods, colonial to post-colonial, agrarian culture to industrial one, from industrial to post-industrial, from rural culture and cosmology to the urban ones.
The history of Indonesian culture is ancultural history. A culture that is located between two cultural spaces: between the traditional and the modern, the original and the alien, the inside and the outside, the high brow and the low brow. It never (again?) stays and grows inside one cultural space that is specific and sharply different from another specific culture. It builds on a mix (and excess) of cultures. Its is constituted by many different cultural layers.
As a cultural entity Indonesia is never singular, but the in-betweeness and the transitional conditions have become the overarching and constructing frame covering all thewithin.
The exhibition revolves around a physical roof that transforms the gallery space into an installation that includes video, sculpture and performance.explain that “the under the roof is constructed by a constantly shifting and changing milieu of ideas, events, performances and meanings. The space of ‘ , where issues about origins, influences and identity could be discussed simultaneously without privileging one over the other. In : where one can be a (or any other religion) and a at the same time; local and global; modern and traditional. Where one is something in-between different things.”
More materials are available to view on site at Para Site.
The Archive Project is financially supported by the Project Grant of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.