|CP Foundation | About CP Biennale | 2003 | 2005 | Contact Us>|
HISTORY TRANSLATED | CHANGE | LOCALNESS
DEDE ERI SUPRIA
DEWA Ngk. Md. ARDANA
FERI EKA CHANDRA
GEDE MAHENDRA YASA
I GUSTI KADEK MURNIASIH
IRMAN A. RAHMAN
M. ANDI DWI I
R. MAGDALENA PARDEDE
RAHMAT SUBANI IRFANI
S. TEDDY D.
TATANG B. Sp
By Rizky Zaelani (co-curator)
"Non-western nations, though struggling with the process of modernization, are excluded from claiming modernism", thus went the criticism from Greta Kapur, an Indian art critic and historian. This is indeed so. In the writing of the modern art history, no development has been considered more important than the development of art history in the West, colored by the spirit of avant-gardism and Modernism. Following the Hegelian logic, art history includes the portrayal of the positive development that simultaneously shows the ideas of progress and improvement. The spirit of scientism has given colors to the writing of art history, which in turn reads the development of art as a narration about the break-through in paradigms. The Modernism movement, with the spirit of avant-gardism, is considered as a note about the judgment of modern subjects about the modern realities of the projects and situations of Western modernity. Meanwhile, the modernization processes outside the West are considered distinct from the essence of the (Western) modernity project.This modernization is a development project to mimic the society and the situations of the Western modernity. With such judgment, no modern subject could exist outside the West, and the same thing goes for its modernism spirit. With its claim as 'the explanation about the art of the world,' such history is clearly limited.
In fact, the modernization processes have created modern situations considered as modernity outside the West. This kind of modernity in turn also creates 'modernism,' together with the birth of 'the modern subjects' who are 'free subjects' in the formerly colonized lands, where the resonance from the Enlightenment spirit and the ideas of progress have (also) been 'created.' "This modernism suffered from all problems of colonialism, its lack of resources and underdevelopment,"said Rasheed Araeen, "but when it entered the mainstream of modernism, both in the metropolis and its so-called periphery, it transformed itself into a critical force to challenge its established premise." (8. Rasheed Araeen stresses the importance of an 'other art history' outside the West. In Indonesia, what Sudjojono and other artists did in the 1930s and 1940s was a clear example of Araeen's explanations above.
Sudjojono is 'an artist' (a title recognized by the art in the Western sense) who used the traditions in painting to question the situations that his public must undergo and was experiencing, due to the gap of the modernity principles in the West and the colonized lands. In this case, the colonialism project and the freedom for a nation (the de-colonialism project) were the two faces of the same coin of the modernity project. Until now, the critical force that is the legacy of the modern art tradition is still alive and well. Yuswantoro Adi's painting, Exciting Game/They Are The Most Rational Ones in this biennale, for example, clearly shows the meticulousness of the Realism tendency to state its judgment about the current reality of Indonesia today. Yuswantoro not only mocks the political reality in Indonesia, but he also shows the matters behind representation and representativeness. For Yuswantoro, there is nothing wrong with the gleeful world of children playing around--it becomes problematic when they are playing in the wrong place: The assembly hall of the Indonesian Legislative Assembly. For Indonesians, the meanings are clear as the painter seems to suggest a different view beyond its appearance. Yuswantoro's judgment can be wrong, but it is clear that 'the place'--or probably 'the building' or 'the institution'--is not meant for children.
The traditions of modern art, and the spirit of modernism as well, that exist outside the West do not mean to erase the history or deny the modernity project; rather, they want to state and read this history in a different way, distinct from the readings conducted by the West. Once again, Geeta Kapur's critique explains this situation: "Yet so far as they [the third world countries] undertake to modernize, the thorny face of the modern must be examined even as the aura that surrounds it must be seen to be what it is, signaling device for the future."(9 The future is indeed a projection of the narration about the past stated by history. Art history is not merely about the 'past' narration, but also about the narration 'currently taking place' that shows the future through various notes on aesthetic movements and manifesto. The abstractive tendency, for example, does not mean to state the basic symbols about the so-called 'pre-historical society'; rather, it wishes to create the abstraction and perfection about the world of ideas in the name of a better future. The abstract works of Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, or the Futurism manifesto, for example, are the depiction about "progress" in the ways the world is represented. For the Indonesian artist Yunizar, however, with his abstractive work in this biennale, The Energy of Power, is a statement of that other judgment. More than a hundred metallic buttons are displayed in his 'painting,' not in order to state the abstraction of thoughts (although it might appear to do just that). For Yunizar, the buttons are not merely forms, but are indeed buttons with their functions as clothing accessories. In that work, Yunizar seems to be collecting various perceptions from the public about clothing and fashion--the buttons are not only representatives of the Indonesian experience with clothing, but they also depict hopes of the public to appear and be different, better, glamorous, or, if possible, 'futuristic.'
CP Foundation | About CP Biennale | 2003 | 2005 | Contact Us
CP Foundation | Jl. Suryopranoto 67A, Jakarta 10160, Indonesia
ph. +62.21.3853205, 3853206 | fax. +62.21.3520471, 3853203 | email@example.com
Opens Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm | Saturday and Sunday by Appointment only | Closed on Public Holidays