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Don't Worry be Happy
Metromini Group is an art community founded in 2001 in Jakarta, and a collaboration of artists, lecturers, and students or alumni of the Jakarta Art Institute. The group currently houses 30 members, and ones who are participating for their project in the CP Biennale 2005 are: Awan P Simatupang, Agus Salim, Benny R, Tahalele, Bernauli Pulungan, Bustami, Firman Lie, Fabianto K, Hardiman Rajab, Jerry T, Tonny Matt, and Yani Maryani S. Metromini Group has taken part in a number of exhibitions, including: “Republik Togel” at the Lontar Gallery, Jakarta (2004); “Metropolitan” at the Cipta 2 Gallery in the Ismail Marzuki Cultural Park (TIM) Jakarta (2002); and the Metromini Exhibition at the Millennium Gallery, Jakarta (2001).
Metropolitan life as in Jakarta is often portrayed as a violent struggle, demanding victims. The victims are those unable to adapt to the competition current of increasingly intensive mastery, which is also becoming extensive at the same time. All sectors of life in the city are increasingly turning into specialistic sectors requiring intensive and specific skills. The urban migrants coming from the villages will eventually become the victims of such competition system and law. With the increasingly global characters of city developments in the world, the level of mastery required is also more specific and exclusive. Such mastery can only be gained with increasingly higher cost and thinner chances. The urban migrants, being victims of the competitive life in the big city, will only be present and live as a part of the “dominating” system they cannot overcome easily.
Don't Worry Be Happy is a representation of the victims' struggle against the dominating power placing them in a situation that is not invariably easy. The work makes use of our memory toward things that have enriched our childhood: a play in its quintessential meaning. The “play” can also be recognized in the various competitions today and is the manifestation of the modern ritual that we must face and overcome. In our efforts to understand the game, delight and happiness can actually ensue, beyond the simple rules encircling it. A game, albeit preparing some parties as “the lost ones,” is invaluable precisely because it enlivens hopes and delight to those who are able to understand it. Games and plays are precious not only because they have regulations and limitations, but also because they help us from being trapped into a fatalistic attitude. (Rizki A Zaelani)
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