Power & Other Things
Indonesia & Art 1835 - now
The project takes its name from the demand for the transfer of power and other things to the newly independent Indonesia in 1945. It travels through time, from European colonial occupation through the development of the republican state to the trans-national contemporary cultures of today. It looks at the various international exchanges that happened in the territories of contemporary Indonesia, through the images and ideas of artists. These exchanges were of different kinds: trade, culture, religion, ideology and war. They produced a variety of results: violence, oppression, racism, creativity, spiritual awakening, and other things. The ideologies and challenges of modernity are common ways in which Indonesia has been depicted by others and has defined itself over the period. As this modern period recedes into history, the project will seek ways to remember how it has influenced contemporary understanding and ask the current generation of artists to look back in order to rewrite the past and potentially create the conditions for a different future. The catalogue and the exhibition will follow a broad chronological narrative, allowing readers and visitors to learn more about how this huge archipelago has changed over the past two centuries and to observe how it has responded and adapted to influences originating from both inside and outside the islands. The influence of the imperial Dutch and Japanese occupations naturally form a significant element in the narrative of the exhibition as does the constant struggle for different forms of independence or equal treatment by the Javanese and other Indonesian cultures. The importance of Chinese and Arab influence on Indonesia’s cultural history will also feature as the exhibition tries to look for alternative ways, alongside the post-colonial, for understanding the present. The presentations will include work made during the residencies as well as new commissions.