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Ruang MES 56—“ruang” means “space” or “room” in Indonesian—is a community of photographers residing in Yogyakarta. Founded in 2002, the community has the mission to expand the discourse on photography by using popular approaches, ideas, and researches. The active members of the community today are: Abdul Wahid, Anang Saptoto, Agung Widhi, Angki Purbandono, Edwin Dolly Roseno, Eko Bhirowo, Jim Abel, Nunung Prasetya, Wimo Ambala Bayang, and Wok the Rock. Ruang MES 56 has joined in, and managed, various activities such as: darkroom workshop “Absolut Fotogram” (2005); group exhibition “Lalu Kini Nanti/Past Present Future” (2004); “Achtung!” by Setu Legi (2003); and “Sama-sama” (“Together”), group exhibition of MES 56 members at the Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta (2002).
In this CP Biennale, Ruang MES 56 has “in fact” created two different works. As befit for an exhibition, the identity of the artists and the reproduction of the work should be displayed on the catalogue, with the work being showcased in the exhibition. We want to reverse the methods. We present the work (which is expected to comply with the curatorial conditions) in the catalogue [see page 196 – 197; ed.] and display our identities in the exhibition. In our work the choice of medium becomes crucial. A catalogue has a long but rather limited time span, while the display of the work has a wider exposure albeit being temporal. The characteristics of both media are precisely what we want to optimize. Through the politics of the medium, it will be seen what we want to consider important and what is not. Family pictures of each member of Ruang MES 56 function as a window to understand our works. In an urban world, identity is a very important thing. The urban society with all their habits and their cultural products is a form of identity politics, playing with the symbols of identity with such sophistication. (Artist's Statement)
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