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  • The Jakarta Post, September 4 2005

    CP Biennale 2005
    A city for the people?

    Urban Culture, this year's theme of the CP Biennale asks the question, "Who owns cities?" in the face of chaos, misappropriation and increasing proverty in today's modern metropolises. While many international biennale have been held under the urban theme, this year's CP Biennale, according to its chief curator, Jim Supangkat, differs from the usual in that it wishes to highlight the urban culture not as it is usually understood, but rather urbanity as an interaction between the urban elite and urban migrants.

    With remarks from the Bank Indonesia governor, the Jakarta vice governor and the Biennale chief curator, a symposium on "Urban Reflection" opened on Sept.6. The event featured speakers such as Hong Kong-based philosopher Timothy O'Leary, New York-based art historian/curator Shin Yi Yang and Aksara Foundation chair Nono Anwar Makarim, focusing on issues pertinent to the future of Asian metropolises and those in Indonesia in particular.

    The one month exhibition comprising paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, pop art, cartoons, video-and installation art, as well as architectural designs, reveals dynamic that surpass the urban realm.

    For example, painter and installation artist Mella Jaarsma and architects Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijama of Tokyo Atelier Bow-Wow, for instance, point at the increasing phenomenon of people in need of fold-in/convertible or temporary shelters. Meanwhile, the work of Indonesian sculptor/installation artist Titarubi could be considered a metaphor for urban solutions - that they do not touch upon the roots of these problems.

    In contrast to the groundbreaking Open CP Biennale in 2003, this year's participation is by invitation and includes art groups and communities aside from individual artists.

    Djie Tjianan of the organizer, CP Foundation expressed a hope that CP will continue to fulfill its objective of contributing to a world art scene in which democratic principles can flourish and plurality is possible, and which will provide a dynamic that is inclusive instead of exclusive.

    -Carla Bianpoen, contributor.

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