OPENING STAGE OF BIENNALE JOGJA XIII; Traveling Across Eras: From Survivors of 65 to Senyawa

20151109 Panggung Opening BJXIII

YOGYAKARTA – Tuti, Hartina, Elly, and Murtini are the remaining members of Ansambel Gembira Jakarta. It was one of the choirs under Lembaga Musik Indonesia (LMI); one of the creative communities of LEKRA in 1960s.

At present, the four members of Gembira transform into a new group named Dialita. Dialita, an acronym of “Di Atas 50 Tahun (above 50 years old)”, is one of the choirs performed in the opening stage night of Biennale Jogja XIII at Jogja National Museum (JNM), Gampingan, Yogyakarta (1/11).

In the same way as Ansambel Gembira, Dialita consists of middle-aged women incited the souls of Indonesian by their patriotic songs, among others Asia Afrika Bersatu, Padi untuk India, and Viva Ganefo.

The three songs brought to the audience in energetic and lively performance were written by Indonesian composers at the moment when Indonesia stood in the vanguard leading Asia-Africa in their struggles for independence. Viva Ganefo composed by Asmoro to commemorate the involvement of Indonesia in New Emerging Force. Padi untuk India composed by A. Ali tells about the solidarity of Indonesians to Indians strucked by food shortage. Moreover, Asia Afrika Bersatu was composed by Sudharnoto, also the composer of Garuda Pancasila mars which is being inherited to us nowadays.

“The songs we sing on the stage of Biennale Jogja are dedicated to preserve hope and passion for life. We gather, carry out some philanthropies and sing. Justice, truth, and peace are values we fight for,” said Ucikowati (63) happily applauded by the audience.

Dialita is a family of survivors in the year of political havoc, 1965. According to Bu Uci, there is one legendary survivor in Dialita choir. “Bu Mujiyati is the first generation of survivors. She was in the first wave and was the last to leave Plantungan camp in Central Java,” said Bu Uci speaking on behalf of Dialita.

Dialita performance in Biennale Jogja XIII was their first performance outside Jakarta or their 27th performance since the choir reunited in December 7, 2012.

At Biennale Jogja sustaining Hacking Conflict issue, Dialita choir shared the stage with other experimental musics, one of them is Senyawa. Wukir Suryadi, one of the founders of Senyawa, designed their own musical instrument from bamboo in which the instrument blares like common electric guitar. In their opening performance, Wukir Suryadi & Lifepatch demonstrated their “guitar” shaped-guns-and-fire arrow. The instrument was a blast.

Senyawa is nowadays music generation differs from the music performed by Dialita 65 in the era of Soekarno. Also, it differs from the performance of keroncong music of Orkes Nusa Permai.

Imagine an orkes with a swaying tune of “Jangan Ditanya Kemana Aku Pergi” popularized by Broery Marantika coupled with heavy metal band, Punkasila. Although their songs might seem “odd”, they contain messages of political violence. Check out other Punkasila’s songs from Kopassus, TNI, RPKAD, Turba, PKI, Perang Singkatan, Manikebu, FPI, DOM, Bakorstanas/Bakin, to KFC.

Punkasila utilized four motorcycle engines to produce their music on the stage of Biennale Jogja. The roar of motorcycle engines might reminisce the listeners about the loud noises come from the street during the season of political campaign. Otherwise, Punkasila could be passing straight criticism toward the motorcycles reigning the city streets in Indonesia.

From Dialita 65 to Senyawa and Lifepatch, from Orkes Nusa Permai to Punkasila, all of them brought the opening stage of Biennale Jogja XIII to represent a wide span of history from generations as well as juxtaposing contradictories in a stage of art and culture.

Photo illustration by Kelas Pagi Yogyakarta

Equator Festival Biennale Jogja XIII ‘KOALISI CAKRAWALA’

20151109 Koalisi Cakrawala

This festival views popular culture as one of the important factors in establishing the identity of a consumer, user, audience or collector. The focus of the celebration will be on the practical consumers of that culture. Some consumer communities reached out by this festival, among others, include: product design users, music fans, tattoo collectors, toy collectors and many others. While some communities involved, among others, are: Jogja Force, Kombo, The Deo Mix Blood, Artz, Anagrad, TMT, Media Legal, FSTVLST, Toxic Tatoo, dan Dagadu (creative team).

OPENING CEREMONY BIENNALE JOGJA XIII “Like A Trailing Plant, It’s The Way Art Perceives Chaos”

20151109 Upacara Pembukaan BJXIII

YOGYAKARTA – When chaos is merely seen as negative chaos, it could never develop into opportunities on growth, cultural dialectic, improved work ethic, creative energy and productivity. Chaos will turn into future opportunities when we could change the world’s perspective by reversing the paradigm, from negative chaos into positive chaos.

The above statement was written by the Governor of Special Region of Yogyakarta, Hamengkubuwono X for the opening of Biennale Jogja XIII: Equator #3 at Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta (1/11). Drs. Umar Priyono, Head of Cultural Affairs of Special Region of Yogyakarta read the speech.

According to Sri Sultan, “Hacking Conflict”, the major theme of Biennale Equator Series #3 bringing Indonesia and Nigeria into an event, is a way to read conflict as a creative breakthrough. Likewise the chaotic nature of trailing plants, we recognize the growth in conflict by referring to several basic characteristics of rhizome.

“Grass differed from banyan tree that stands on a single point, one, centralized, hierarchical, bureaucratic. It connects with other in irregular pattern,” said Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X.

Moreover, the Director of Biennale Jogja XIII, Alia Swastika, put the context of Biennale Jogja on the relation between Indonesia and the internationalization of art. According to Alia, Biennale with Equator theme is a strategy to read historical map of the relations between Indonesia and the other nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

“In 2015, Biennale Jogja met Nigeria as one of the areas in the equator. Like when Biennale Jogja invited India and United Arab of Emirates in the themes of Religiosity and Mobility in 2011 and 2013, at present the two nations are reading the daily meaning of major conflict in democratic transition in the scope of Hacking Conflict,” Alia explained.

The main exhibition of Biennale Jogja XIII curated by Wok The Rock (Indonesia) and Jude Anogwih involves 34 artists and art communities, including 11 works of Nigerian artist.

“I underline collaboration as a method of working. Thus, it is a semi-open exhibition in the shape of activity space. The space was created by the participants coming from various disciplines,” described the Curator, Wok The Rock.

The exhibition involves visual artists, actors, musicians, book editors, advertising professionals, and dancers. Jogja National Museum provides three main venues for the exhibition, they are Pendopo Ajiyasa, Plaza JNM, and Plaza Kriya to December 10, 2015.

One of the outdoor works standing out amongst other is the collaboration between Indonesian artist, Maryanto, and Nigerian artist, Victor Ehikhamenor. The work talks about the problems of oil and energy in both nations.

Photo Illustration by Kelas Pagi Yogyakarta

Biennale Equator For The Youth

20151109 Biennale Untuk Anak Muda

African Conference By High School Students in Yogyakarta

Arise from a simple question; how does a high school teenager in Yogyakarta define Asian- African Conference in the coming years? We arranged this program to earn the answer of the question. Students will collaborate with the other student representatives of several high schools in Yogyakarta in which they will join a series of discussions and workshops introducing the background of Asian-African Conference and the role of the conference in world development.

After the introduction, the students will talk about their ideals and expectations on the future Asian-African Conference. The result of the discussion will be presented in the reenactment of future Asian-African Conference. This reenactment implements the materials, derived from speeches and scripts of the conferences in 1955 and 2015, which is being rewritten and being “given” a new context by the students.

The reenactment of “Future Asian-African Conference” uses debate competition system. It is open for public and, hopefully, could be presented in both Bahasa Indonesia and English. From this reenactment, we hope that the students see history from a new point of view. In addition, we give the students a chance to practice theatrical theories in a way differed from the theatrical performances they used to have.


20151109 Festival Tanah

Festival Tanah: “Lemahku Kekuatanku”
Date: 30 October 2015, 09.00 am – 10.00 pm
Venue: Rice field at Dusun Gobangan, Desa Giripeni Wates Kulon Progo

This festival is a celebration echoing the land as both a weak and powerful thing. This event combines art between local art that breathes rites and symbolic prayers with contemporary art that are not spared from the spirits of playfulness and innovation. This meeting does not only juxtapose aesthetic diversity but also the diversity of interests, knowledge and a number of identities. In addition to arts community, the festival also celebrates the land with Gabungan Kelompok Tani (Farmers Association), students, village administration, village art activists, community of mothers and so on. Groups involved include: Kesinian, Gapoktan Giripeni, Gejok Lesung Laras Peni, BBDKK, and Wayang Sawah.

Biennale Forum

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DAY ONE, November 17, 2015
9.30 am – 01.00 pm
Societet Militer, Taman Budaya Yogyakarta,
Jalan Sriwedani 1, Yogyakarta

Public Lecture: Nicolas Bourriaud

Equator Symposium (ES) conducts a VIRAL session within the Biennale Forum that invites Nicolas Bourriaud to talk about the basis thinking of altermodern, a concept that he proposed and executed in Tate Triennale 2009, UK. In early 1990s, Bourriaud coined the term relational aesthetic (a term that is now commonity uded to categorize artistic practices that involved people). ES interested in looking into altermodern as an experienced based and critical development of relational aesthetic. NB was the Director of the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts until July 2015, an art school in Paris, France.

DAY TWO, November 18, 2015
Concert Hall, Post-Graduate Building of Indonesian Institute of the Arts,
Jl. Suryodiningratan, Yogyakarta

Biennale as Platform for Cultural Exchange
10.00 am – 01.00 pm

Speaker: Vera Mey (KH-NZ)
With her extensive working experience in some cultural exchange projects, Vera Mey will speak on the phenomenon of working on residency and collaboration projects in South East Asia. While Biennales become more and more site for artistic production, collaboration and exchange, there are many other platforms offered in region for those activities. Vera will explores on the small scale institution and how their strategy on the creating more equal and more open intervention.

Speaker: Jannice Kim* (KR)
Jannice Kim shares her experience working in South Korea art scene where international projects and exchanges are encouraged strongly by the government. There are many international shows and residencies program, that aim to connect local scene and global society. Why Korean government insists to support cultural exchange in wide level? How the government organizations work with local organizations and other institutions, either established ones nor alternatives to open up collaborations? What are these programs benefited to society in general, and for the arts community in more particular context?

Jannice Kim opens Art+Lounge Dibang dan Cottonseed in Mullae Art Village pada 2010. She brought Cottonseed to Gillman Barrack in 2002 to introduce South Korean artists to South East Asian public and visa versa.

Speaker: Agung Hujatnika (ID)
Agung Hujatnika worked on Jakarta Biennale 2009, titled Arena where he invited artists who were participating in residency programs and international shows in South East Asia. In 2013, he curated Jogja Biennale 2012 where he focused on the idea of mobility. He shares his insights on the notion of mobility and how Indonesian artists are involved in the rapid movement of global mobility in the last decade and how those movements contributes to the development of cultural sector in Indonesia, and how he sees these issues in context of South East Asia.

Agung Hujatnika Jennong is a curator and lecturer. He was curator for Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung dan had curated numerous exhibitions in Indonesia and abroad. He was associate curator for three editions of Singapore Biennale, and was curator for Jakarta Biennale (2009) and Biennale Jogja (2014).

DAY THREE, November 19, 2015
Concert Hall, Post-Graduate Building of Indonesian Institute of the Arts,
Jl. Suryodiningratan, Yogyakarta

Lecture: Mami Kataoka (JP)
10.00 am – 11.00 am

Mami Kataoka has curated many different projects involving artists with various artistic approaches, from object based installations, relational aesthetic methods, and many others. Some of her recent shows, for example with Lee Ming Wei and Dinh Q Lee, most used approaches that created new social relationship, either between artists and communities, artists and audiences, artists and artists, and many others. She will present these projects to see the possibilities of art projects to create a productive social interventions.

Panel Discussion
11.00 am – 01.00 pm

Syafiatudina (ID)
Recently, Syafiatudina works on some projects that strongly based on the notion of collaborations, social interventions, and how arts enable communities to define their spaces and everyday life. Her long term project, Made in Commons, presented in Amsterdam and Yogyakarta, are interesting example to discuss how commons or mutual co-creation had become important fundament for art projects. What is the challenges of working on this kind of approach in the context of contemporary arts in Yogyakarta?

Joned Suryatmoko (ID)
As a theater director, Joned Suryatmoko has been working with many different collaborators to realize his artistic ideas. He introduced various new approaches in the field of theater to public in Yogyakarta, so watching a play is not simply coming to a theater space, sit and talk, but also about how we experience the city, urban landscape, and also our encounters with others. He also worked in several projects on the base of theater for the people, in collaboration with established non-governmental organization, so it is interesting to compare both artistic experiences and practices.

Reservation and info:
Ms. Maria Erni [hp. 085726659948 e. ].

Jogja-Lagos: Changing Cities-Shifting Spaces 

20151128 VAN Lagos_Video workshop

(Collateral Event Biennale Jogja XIII)
Jogja-Lagos: Changing Cities-Shifting Spaces 
Video art and public space VAN Lagos – Mes 56

In today’s globalised digital realities, the language of moving images has become a universal tool to comment and reflect on the ever-shifting spaces of everyday life. With the topic “Changing Cities – Shifting Spaces” this project wishes to explore the dynamics of urban space in video art workshops, an exhibition and a publication.

The two-part project is located in Yogyakarta/ Indonesia and Lagos/Nigeria and aims to stimulate debate about urban life and public space in the two respective cities. The link between these two countries is given by the topic of the Jogja Biennale 2015, which focuses on Nigeria as an attempt to bridge the South-South divide.

In October 2015 there will be a video art workshop in Yogyakarta as part of Jogja Biennale, with Indonesian and Nigerian artists, lead by Jude Anogwih and Wok the Rock. They will develop works, which will be shown both during the Biennale and later as well in Lagos.

A second workshop in Lagos in January 2016 aims at supporting emerging video artists. It is lead by Jude Anogwih and Theo Eshetu and culminates in the exhibition “Videonale in Lagos”.

The exhibition “Videonale in Lagos” in January/February 2016, curated by Jude Anogwih and Tasja Langenbach & Jennifer Gassmann (Videonale), shows works by Videonale Bonn and by the participants of both the Jogja and the Lagos workshops.

This programme is supported by
KFW Stiftung, Video Art Network Lagos, and Ruang Mes 56.

20151128 VAN Lagos_Video workshop_logos

Six Nigerian Artists Kick Off Their Projects in Yogyakarta

20151112 Seniman Nigeria residensi di Jogja

The Nigerian artists featured on the residency program of Biennale Jogja XIII landed on Jogja in November 6. Five artists started working on their projects and there will be one more artist joining them in the coming week. Previously, the curator Partner of Biennale Jogja XIII, Jude Anogwih worked with the team in Jogja to shape his ideas on the exhibition. The five artists working in Jogja are Amarachi Okafor, Aderemi Adegbite, Olanrewaju Tejuoso, Ndidi Ndike and Victor Ehikhamenor. Almost all of them admit that this is their first time coming to Asian continent, thus being a part of BJ XIII as well as enjoying Indonesia in their one-month stay are things they feel excited about. During their few days tasting a bit of Jogja, most of them adored the city, and particularly, savored super spicy foods in street food stalls.

In their first week experiencing Jogja, the artists acknowledged a few corners of the city. Guided by the volunteers as their assistants, they took trip around the city to find relevant spaces and sites for their art projects in Jogja. Some of the artists create a project directly involved with the locals, thus the artists should make a quite intensive approach to them. Among others are Aderemi Adegbite with a photography project on the people of Ledok Ratmakan resided at the banks of Code river and Amarachi Okafor with a series of workshop involving students in Yogyakarta.

Ndidi Ndike explores traditional markets in Jogja and compares them with the traditional markets in Lagos. Meanwhile, Olanrewoju is busy building his temporary museum site located in the middle of a village in Jogja. Victor Ehikhamenor designs a large-scale installation work and is preparing a lot of materials and sketches.

Aside from preparing their art projects, the artists were invited in several sharing-knowledge programs. They visit some classes at several universities and share their knowledge and experience on the practice of cultural movement in the scope of socio-political dynamic particularly in Nigeria and more specifically in Africa. Some of the universities are University of Gajah Mada, Indonesian Institute of Art, and so forth. In addition, they will involve in some open discussions agenda dedicated for a wider audience.

Residency program plays a vital role along the journey of Biennale Equator. The meeting of artists with different backgrounds makes art scene in Jogja grows and slowly indicates rich blend of diverse cultures.

Parallel Event BJXIII: The Community Project “Bertolak-Bersanding”

The Community art project titled “Bertolak-Bersanding” (Departing – Collaborating) is part of Biennale Jogja XIII Parallel Events section. Under the main theme of Hacking Conflict working with Nigeria as the country partner, this program refers to the dynamics among common people in overcoming conflicts. This project raises up questions on the forms and approaches of critical art, and at the same time offering various artistic practices questioning the dominant hegemony.

The project opens up opportunities and challenges to the participating groups or individuals working in arts, culture, academics, social organizations, to intervene creatively towards the capability of the people to adapt to changes. The artistic actions in the Parallel Events project are not merely about ‘how to engage public’ or non-hierarchical ideas, but mostly about how to stage the social system instability by doing arts through social criticism and participatory methods.

There are 8 groups that have been selected to be part of Parallel Events to discuss general issues such as trashes, citizen relationship, water, housing, natural resources, and traditional art practices. Community art method is the way they try to shake, to disturb and to give voice over all those issues. heir different works and approaches towards the same issues by diving into the communities is expected to provide new horizons and awareness for the residents and participants all together. Their different works and approaches towards the same issues by diving into the communities is expected to provide new horizons and awareness for the residents and participants all together.

During the process, participants join workshops on creating, guided by the art community practitioners Joned Suryatmoko and Moelyono. The results will be presented at the University of Technology Yogyakarta and Duta Wacana Christian University, and also showcased at Jogja National Museum during the biennale, as well as in their own local spaces.

The eight groups are:
1. Anang Saptoto and the architecture of University of Technology Yogyakarta, working at the Sempu Perumahan, Desa Bangunjiwo, Kasihan, Bantul.
2. The architecture of Kristen Duta Wacana University working at Jetis, Sleman.
3. Kelompok Tiga working at kawasan perkotaan Yogyakarta.
4. Paguyuban Sidji working at Imogiri, Bantul.
5. Sanggar Seni R n B and Titik Lenyap working at Kabupaten Gunung Kidul Yogyakarta.
6. Teras Print and Kulonprogo Printmaking working at Kabupaten Kulonprogo.
7. Anak Wayang Indonesia working at Kampung Mergangsan Yogyakarta.
8. Moansnake28 and Art as Therapy working at Bausasran Yogyakarta.

Ace House Collective

20151109 Ace House Collective

Ace House Collective
“Komisi Nasional Pemurnian Seni (KNPS)”
Performative activities in a site-specific installation
In collaboration with: Rully Shabara, Yazied Syafaat, Joned Suryatmoko, Maryanto

Detox is a treatment process that involves the cleansing of the organs of a person’s body. In this work, Ace House Collective uses detox as an analogy for the function of art in society. Art becomes a tool for explaining and “cleansing” many complex issues that society faces today. However, political work in art is not merely limited to being a method of facing social issues. Art methods also need to be politically reviewed. How can work exhibited in the biennale context be capable of representing the ideological position of art in society? Ace House Collective’s work is a self- critical action towards art – including its potential and its limitations – within formal and bureaucratic systems like the Biennale Jogja.

Ace House Collective is an artist collective founded in Yogyakarta, 2011. Since 2014, they run a non-profit initiative space, Ace House and functioned as a laboratory on artistic tension between art and other disciplines based on youth and pop culture practices which emphasizes in the experimental and exploratory approach as well as finding the possibilities on visual art perspective through several programs and activities such as; presentation-discussion, exhibition, residency, and inter-disciplinary art projects. Ace House Collective project “Tak Ada Rotan Akar Punjabi” —an artistic research on west Indian diaspora community in Yogyakarta won the first prize of Biennale Jogja’s Parallel Event Program in 2011. They have been exhibited their project in Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea and participated in Jakarta Biennale in 2013.

Aderemi Adegbite

20151109 Aderemi

Aderemi Adegbite
“Al-Ikhlas: The Purity/The Refining”
Photography on Islamic Slates
In collaboration with: Uche Okpa-Iroha, & SAKI

Aderemi’s current focus questions individual realities and truth(s) that stretch across the societal fabric as constants for an elastic socio-system. He is interested in how past experiences (agonies, joys, businesses, travels and religious beliefs) of being part of a family reshape the individual’s present conditions, and serve as catalysts for “the”surrealistic future. The psychological effect of the idea “one for all, all for one,” is at the centre of his new interventions. In “Al Ikhlas: The Purity / The Refining”. Adegbite discusses macro issues, he explores them through the smaller narrations that surround us. These narrations can be found in living rooms, or even in our beds. He explores them by using family photo archives, and believes that macro political problems can be felt and captured in personal stories.

Born in Lagos, 1982, Aderemi Adegbite is a selftaught photographer, video, performance artist. He considers photography as a tool, to engage society in discourse. Aderemi started his artistic career through his involvement in the theatre. His first solo exhibition “N65”, exhibited at the Goethe Institut Lagos, Nigeria and Goethe Institut, Dakar, Senegal in 2012. “N65,” won the Emerging Human Rights Activists award of the World Youth Movement for Democracy 2012 Photo Contest. He has been commissioned for photographic projects by both art and media organizations and have exhibited his works locally and internationally. As an Arts Manager, he has produced and coordinated several arts and literary events which include Poetry Potter, Lagos Poetry Festival, WordSlam, Fashion Revolution and P.A.G.E.S in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. He lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.


Agan Harahap

20151109 Agan Harahap

Agan Harahap
“Dear Sara”
Photography, short story, internet, video

Pre-election times (before July 2014) are mystifying time in Indonesia. As the official campaign time begins, all kinds of ‘black campaigns’ come into play and haunt the internet. Through anonymous websites and social media accounts, offensive gossips and rumors attacking both candidates spread and feed the divergence among the people. In the work, by adopting the methods applied in the sites and social media accounts containing ‘black campaigns’, AganHarahap tries to muffle the tension in the air after the election. His target is internet users.

Agan Harahap started his career as a painter and illustrator when he studied graphic design at STDI (Design and Art College) in Bandung, Indonesia. After graduate (2005), he moved to Jakarta and worked as a digital imaging artist and photographer for Indonesian music magazine Trax Magazine. In 2008, he was one of a finalist for Indonesian Art Award. He held his first solo exhibition in Ruang MES 56, Yogyakarta and began to participate in numerous art exhibitions in Southeast Asia, South Korea, Japan, Portugal, Colombia and Australia. His works combined fiction and reality in satire parody narrative of human life. His works distributed massively by internet users on social media and online forums.This created highly debates about reality and authenticity among the users, corporate media, photographers and prominent figures depicted in the photographs. This issue concerned him to observing on how the cyber culture disrupts the real life. He lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina

20151109 Irwan-Tita dan Yudi

Irwan Ahmett – Tita Salina & Yudi Ahmad Tajudin
“Restitution of 1755: Hacking Giyanti”
Procession, discussion, performance

As in their previous works that address the complexity of problems, the collaboration of artist duo Irwan-Tita and Yudi Ahmad Tajudin attempts to play with foundations of historical legitimacy, which are now rarely questioned. In this work, the artists are interested in conflicts about living spaces that have recently emerged in Yogyakarta, both at the elite and grassroots levels. To find solutions for these conflicts, this art project focuses on the Giyanti Treaty and in so doing delves into the history of the city as well as the NgayogyakartaHadiningrat kingdom. “Restitution of 1755: Hacking Giyanti” has not been created to determine the truth or authentic history, but intentionally questions the legitimation of the Yogyakarta Sultanate. As such, this work asks us to always be mindful of all forms of power legitimation.

Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina are Indonesian artists live and work in Jakarta. Both of them graduated from Graphic Design, Institut Kesenian Jakarta. Their artworks are series of interventions in public space using found objects and situational experiments, specifically designed to respond to the problems of the specific city they live in temporarily. It may involve public in a specific urban area, using ‘play’ as the main platform. Produce a complex artwork that could transform problems to irony, and change the citizen’s perspectives on their cities. In deeper level, the aim is to change the behavior of the participants and/or the audience. This duo has participated in some art recidencies. They have also hold many art projects in Indonesia, Japan and many other countries in Europe.

Amarachi Okafor

20151109 Amarachi

Amarachi Okafor
“I Learnt This!”
Mixed media painting installation (including text) on canvas, interactive activity
In collaboration with: Serrum

Amarachi Okafor raises pertinentquestions that plague us as peoples within society. Questions such as: what kind of a society are we? What are we teaching generations now, and how do we go about this? Are we developed societies? What does this mean? Do we build trust, extend care, render help? Do we respect one another and constituted authorities? With Nigeria and Indonesia, colonial domination changed us but as peoples,what is original or indigenous about us? Through this work, Okafor invites audiences to participate in art activities with thoughts on indepth significance of learning, its processes and content. Participants deliberate, relate with one another, and respond to issues by writing on platforms provided by the artist. Amarachi Okafor is an artist born in Nigeria. She currently runs Orie Studio, an artist(s) Space that she set off in Abuja, Nigeria. Her art merges disciplines to discuss social, economic, and political topics: contemporary culture and history. She makes Art Events, Built Paintings and Sculpture Installations involving everyday used objects as material. She is interested in (re)construction and in the hands on process of sewing and patching, where the patching and mending of broken pieces of material for her can be cathartic, or allude to the hoped amendment of processes that could build better societies.

Sometimes, research and writing are art making processes for Amarachi, where words and ideas are ‘tangible’ art materials. She works in creative partnerships and collaborations, addressing issues towards positive societal growth. With her recent work, she creates opportunities for audiences in public spaces (children, students, workers, and government officials) to respond to and voice ideas on social matters in Nigeria.

Okafor has a BA, Painting and MFA, Sculpture from University of Nigeria, and later an MA in Curatorial Practice from Falmouth University, UK. She was recipient of UNESCO Unesco Aschberg artists’ award, 2007; Commonwealth Foundation Commonwealth Connections award, 2009, residency and grants awards from LKV, Trondheim-Norway 2007; NKD Dalsåsen-Norway 2009; Popopstudios Centre, Nassau-Bahamas 2010; and a jury prize award-National Art Competition (Nigeria), 2014. She has participated in exhibitions in Nigeria, Africa and outside Africa, both as an artist and as a curator. She worked with National Gallery of Art, Nigeria, as Senior Curator, 2008-2015.

Anggun Priambodo

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Anggun Priambodo
“Voice Of Equator”
Site-specific installation and video
In collaboration with: Yoshi Kresnamurti

“Voice of Equator” is based on Anggun’s experiences while he was an artist-in- residence in Nigeria. There, he was confronted with a community uncomfortable with cameras, expressing their bitterness and irritation, which made filming difficult for Anggun. In the midst of these difficulties, he was able to capture the noisy and busy atmosphere of Lagos, similar to Jakarta. According to Anggun, while Lagos and Jakarta are geographically distant, both cities have much in common. Anggun invites us to taste the rustle of his experiences through video installations that have been placed in a five- metre high tree house.

Born in 1977, Trenggalek, East Java, Indonesia. Anggun is a multi disciplinary artist. He graduated from Interior Design, Institut Kesenian Jakarta. He has explored many mediums such as video, photography, performance and installation to criticize the culture of urban people in a satirical manner. His works have been exhibited in many exhibitions both local and international, such as in OK Video Festival, Tate Modern Museum in London and Singapore Biennale. He has awarded the best work from Bandung Contemporary Art Award. His first movie Rocket Rain, is launched in 2013 and it has been widely acclaimed. In his spare time he manages a magazine on art, music and life style, Cobra magazine that he publish by himself. He lives and works in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Anti Tank

20151109 Anti Tank

Anti Tank
“Sabda Warga”
Posters and archival documentation
In collaboration with: Lifepatch, Wukir Suryadi, and community of Kapen Watu kodok, Karangwuni, Miliran, Baciro, Gondolayu

Discussing cities cannot be separated from changes, modalities and power. Yogyakarta, which is increasingly becoming a tourist and shopping destination, is no exception. At the same time, the role of society in determining developments in their living environment has become increasingly difficult due to a number of special regulations and their derivatives. For Andrew Lumban Gaol, one can only respond to the language of power by using the language of resistance, and this is the essence of “Citizens’ Utterance”. Under the flag of Anti Tank, he has made posters together with residents of five kampung in Yogyakarta, which are all about the same problem: the building of hotels in their direct environment. These posters are displayed in public spaces and in the exhibition space. As such, the posters have been disseminated widely, and allow the connection of various modes of resistance in the city.

Anti Tank is a project of Andrew Lumban Gaol. He is a street artist works and lives in Yogyakarta. Anti Tank project has started since 2003 in Pematang Siantar, North Sumatra and continued to Yogyakarta and other cities. This project has produced many posters, stencil and mural located in public places. This project has responded contemporary socio-political issues, both nationally and globally.

One of the works acclaimed is “Menolak Lupa” poster created in 2008 as part of the campaign to boost the litigation process for the murderer of human rights acivist, Munir. At this moment he is actively involved in Warga Berdaya community that criticizes the undemocratic development of the city.

Ardi Gunawan

20151104_Ardi Gunawan_loress2

Ardi Gunawan
“Relocation For An Occasion #3”
In collaboration with: Wukir Suryadi
Artworks Contributor: Agan Harahap, Bob Sick, Nindityo Adipurnomo, Yustoni Volunteero, Eddi Prabandono, Ibrahim, Agung Kurniawan, Titin Widiasih, etc.

Art work has a different value, even greater than other objects even though they are made from the same material. This is because of the symbolic value contained within each art work. This symbolic value is accumulated little by little – by artists, curators, art critics – and each production process that the work goes through. Production processes for art works also include material processing, which always leaves behind waste, or even “rubbish”. Does this “rubbish” retain a value, symbolic or material, that can be utilised? In this work, ArdiGunawan collects art works from artists’ studios in Yogyakarta, and seeks potential new value in things that are no longer considered valuable.

Ardi Gunawan is a multi-disciplinary artist and teacher. He studied visual art at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Throughout his practice, he develops projects that are process-driven/performative and exhibits sculptural and architectural works that are explored through a series of rehearsals of scores, tasks, and a list of actions. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. He lives and works in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Arief Yudi

20151109 Arief Yudi

Arief Yudi
“Bergantung Pada Kata”
Podium, speech, video, text
In collaboration with: Iswanto Hartono & Residents of Yogyakarta

The point of departure for Arief Yudi’s work is the assumption that communication is a pathway towards solving conflicts and tensions that are inherent in societal living. The title “Relying On Words” was adopted from a collection of essays entitled “Dependent On Words” edited by Andries Teeuw. A speech platform has been erected as a space for articulation of the worries that surround us. Interestingly, social life is predominantly based on language, even though that has its own limitations and tensions. “Relying On Words” was created to present those limitations while expanding the possibilities in finding a way out of conflict.

Arief Yudi was born in Jatiwangi, 1967. Since 1990’s when he lived in Bandung, he participated in many contemporary art events in Indonesia and internationally. He founded Galeri Barak in Bandung in 1999 and initiated Bandung Performance Art Festival. In 2005 he returned back to his hometown to start Jatiwangi Art Factory (JaF) with his wife, to use arts as a tool in resolving conflicts in Jatiwangi. He is now managing JaF Galley and inviting artists to do a participatory art projects as a new way of developing the neighborhood. Arief lives and works in Jatiwangi, Indonesia.

Dodo Hartoko

20151109 Dodo Hartoko

Dodo Hartoko
“Buku dan Teks Lain”
Books, painting, table, chair and reading lamp
In collaboration with: Agan Harahap, Puthut EA, Arwin Hidayat

The work is inspired by the statuses of Puthut EA’s (writer and activist) on his Facebook account from 2014 until 2015. What’s interesting is the fact that the statuses mostly discuss simple things around the neighborhood yet, somehow, touch wider phenomenon like social-political issues. Most of the time, it leads to debates on the commentary segment. The basis of the selection of the status itself is their relevance with what’s being discussed by the public at that time. In this way, the statuses can be placed in the universal context. The work tries to see the strategy of negotiating conflict in an open and compromising manner. The work (book) is arranged in collaboration with Puthut EA, ArwinHidayat, AganHarahap and

Dodo Hartoko is an artist and a publisher. He has started Buku Baik Publisher since 2002 in Yogyakarta. He was born in Batang, Jawa Tengah. He studied politics in Social and Politics department, Atma Jaya University Yogyakarta, but he didn’t finish it. He has got a lot of discussion and work with numerous artists, political activist, cultural activist, intellectuals, religious leader and civilian. In 2013 he initiated a group discussion “Ceblang Ceblung Forum” with some artist friends.

He has published some books with prominent writers and artists about social-humanistic and arts. His first solo exhibition “Kepala Kepala di Kepala” was hold in Sangkring Art Space, in 2012. He has had several group exhibitions individually and with his collective Ceblang Ceblung Forum.

Emeka Ogboh

20151109 Emeka Ogboh

Emeka Ogboh
Sound installation

In this artwork, Emeka Ogboh discusses issues surrounding globalisation, immigration and the politics of multiculturalism, layer by layer through the sound atmosphere of Lagos, which is projected on the site of the Jogja Biennale. The sound identity of the city environment has formed us, and the sounds of the exhibition location will be intercepted by unfamiliar sounds from Lagos. This allows us to develop familiarity and find new similarities, different from what we know so far about Indonesia and Nigeria through mainstream media. “LOS-JOGJA” is a remix of Ogboh’s earlier work entitled “Lagos Soundscapes”.

Emeka Ogboh is an artist who works primarily with sound and video as ways in responding city space. He was born in Enugu, Nigeria in 1977. He obtained a BA in Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2001. He is the co-founder of the Video Art Network, Lagos and a member of the African Centre for Cities project on African Urbanism. One of Ogboh’s ongoing project is the Lagos Soundscapes. It is trying to capture the ever changing sounds of Lagos, Nigeria. He then locates the sound installation to some other cities outside Nigeria. Through this project he’s trying to address the issues of migration, displacement, cosmopolitanism and globalization. He participated in Venice Biennale 2015 curated by Okwui Enwezor.


Emeka Udemba

20151109 Emeka Udemba

Emeka Udemba
“Street Slam”
Cart, video, live music, snack
In collaboration with: DJ Kawan Dolly

The interest of Emeka Udemba lays on the institutional hierarchy of museums and public spaces as socials spaces of adaptation and experimentation. Udemba’s project in Jogia engages various parts of the city through collaborative “Street Slam” performances and screenings with the Odong Odong Mobile Museum of Contemporary Art. In these collaborations, which are open-ended, intimate attention is focused on routines, habits and utopia possibilities. The interventions reflect critical ideas of the everyday life conceal in complex and contradictory realities of two distant societies, Jogja/Lagos. Emeka Udemba also interrogates aspects of societal prejudices and biases still pervasive despite the so-called ‘global social and cultural revolution’ through his “I am not you” photo series.

Born 1968, Emeka Udemba studied art education at the Lagos State College of Education/University of Lagos, Nigeria. He produces installations, performances, photography, video and drawings. His works explore questions underlining individual as well as collective experiences dealing with issues of socio-cultural influences and politics. One of his ongoing projects is Molue Mobile Museum of Contemporary Art. He has won various prizes, grants and residencies and is also involved in curatorial art practices in public spaces. He lives and works in Freiburg, Germany and in Lagos, Nigeria.

Elia Nurvista & Fajar Riyanto

20151109 Elia

Elia Nurvista & Fajar Riyanto
“Hunger, Inc.”
Performative activity on a site-specific installation
In collaboration with: Ibu-ibu (Women of) Ledhok Timoho, Ndidi Dike, Temitayo Ogunbinyi

Over the past few years, the issue with food and social inequality has become a major theme in the works of Nurvista. In this exhibition, Nurvista collaborates with Riyanto to initiate a work based on events and ways involving the community. With a wide range of activities carried out both inside and outside the exhibition hall, before or during the exhibition, they create moments while poking fun at the social hierarchy around us. Through site- specific performance, Nurvista and Riyanto urge us to take a closer look at the definition of poor, which has already become a playing field for the government and donors, as well as identity which cannot be separated from that gaming circuit.

Elia Nurvista was born in Yogyakarta, 1983. She has graduated from interior design, Indonesian Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta. She’s interested in exploring a wide range of art mediums with an interdisciplinary approach and focus on the discourse of food. In her project “Adiboga Wonoasri” (which means Wonoasri Fine Dining), she created an interactive space that involves people to experiment creating fine dining menu ideas out of non-edible food. In 2015 she started Bakudapan study group with some friends. With Bakudapan she has conducted research on food within the socio-political and cultural context. Elia has participated in numerous exhibitions and art residencies, both locally and internationally. She lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Fitri Setyaningsih

20151109 Fitri

Fitri Setyaningsih
“Rasa Dalam Centimeter”
Dance choreography
In collaboration with: Punkasila

The street is a arena for power struggles between society, military groups, the state and the market. In this context, Fitri Setyaningsih translates Punkasila’s work about noise and chaos as a shared language created in the street, in order to arrange a choreographic work. Fitri Setyaningsih’s choreography works with the regulation of bodies, objects and sound in the street, which is then shifted to the stage in the tiniest of measurements and distances.

Born in 1978, lives and works in Yogyakarta, Fitri Setyaningsih is a dancer, choreographer and performance artist. She studied at the Indonesian Art Institute (STSI) Surakarta. Her works are mostly involved with her observation of social phenomenon. Over the past few years, her works have been crossing the border between performing art and performance art in a visual art context. In 2011 she was awarded for a prominent artist by Tempo magazine in Indonesia. Fitri has participated in numerous dance performances internationally, both as a dancer, choreographer as well as director. She recently is processing her newest work, a composition of dance and site-specific installation “Aku Hampir Plastik” (I’m almost Plastic) that will be performed in deSingel, Antwerp, Belgium.

Joned Suryatmoko

20151109 Joned

Joned Suryatmoko
“Margi Wuta #2”
Tour, performative activities
In collaboration with: tuna netra (visual impairments) actors, Ace House Collective, & all the works in the exhibition space

Joned Suryarmoko is continuing a project that he once conducted with the visually impaired, in a project called ‘Margi Wuta’. In ‘Margi Wuta #2’ Joned has developed a performative event, a tour that examines the works in the Main Exhibition of the Biennale Jogja XIII with a visually impaired guide. The aesthetic he has chosen is certainly outside of conventional performing arts aesthetics. He places more emphasis on the aspects of ‘event’ and ‘experience’ in this work. Through the presence of an exhibition guide with vision impairment, we are invited to traverse the exhibition with our eyes closed. Although in art exhibitions we are generally asked to look at the work, in ‘Margi Wuta #2’ we are invited to experience the exhibition with from the perspective of a person with impaired vision

Joned Suryatmoko was born in Solo, Indonesia in 1976. His educational background is in International Relations Studies (Bachelor degree) and Media and Cultural Studies (Master Degree), both from the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He has run his theatre group, Gardanalla Theatre since 1997 and produced various performances. As a theatre maker and director, he has worked with various communities such as indigenous community, youth, illegal immigrants, sex workers, LGBT community, street children, the disables, etc.  Joned is interested in interdisciplinary works as well as exploring space possibilities, especially since his artist residency in Melbourne in 2004. He has presented his works through various events such as Moonsoon Platform, Asian-European Artists in Seoul, South Korea (2006), Visible City Melbourne Fringe Festival and Southgate Project, both in Melbourne, Australia in 2010. He was also the Artistic Director of Equator Festival, Jogja Biennale XI (2011). Currently he is the Festival Director of the Indonesian Dramatic Reading Festival (IDRF). He lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Kainebi Osahenye

20151109 Kainebi

Kainebi Osahenye
“People To People”
Mixed-media installation

In this exhibition, Osahenye digs into issues that relate to the environment, identity, consumerism and spirituality. The work, ‘People to People’ consists of hundreds of burnt aluminium cans that would be nailed side by side to the wall with tiny, almost invincible nails. The engagement with aluminium cans bears huge global significance and meaning. The aluminium cans come from the consumer society and has further been subjected to burning thereby altering its identity. Attached on the flattened cans are photographic cut-out of eyes (from Nigerians and Indonesians) and fabric (echoing flags that implicate both countries). The cut-out eyes have passed through digital process to appear as a document that reveals who we are as humans (eyes are the window to the soul) while the fabric is an article of trade. There is a certain kind of tactility to the work. It further scrutinizes the spirit in the material/object by allowing them to interact. In composing the piece, created in repetitive patterns, attempts to bring people (photographs of eyes) and things (cans and fabric) together to understand the relationship between them. Nigeria and Indonesia continues to show strong commitment to promoting interaction not only from government to government but also from people to people. Consider the Dutch wax fabric popularly known as the ‘African print’ or ‘Batik’, which dominates the textile industry in Nigeria, gained its invention in Indonesia. This question mark print has inspired artists and fashion trends in Nigeria. Using fabric with colours that echo the flags of these two nations can stake legitimate claims about their harmonious or conflicting relationships. Flags are potent patriotic symbols with wide varying range of interpretations. In a way, this work,  raises questions about what binds a people together.

Kainebi Osahenye was born in Agbor, Delta State, Nigeria in 1964 and studied general art at both Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi in 1986 and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos majoring in painting in 1989 for the award of both the Ordinary National Diploma and Higher National Diploma respectively. He explores such various mediums as installation, mixed-media photography, installation, found object and painting. Using appropriation as a tool, Osahenye’s most ambitious work to date is the ceiling to wall installation titled ‘Casualty’, 2009. Made of thousand of beer cans, the work is less about the ‘trendy’ fad in recycling than in acknowledging the limitation of the traditional mode of painting whilst simultaneously recognising the abilities and the possibilities of pushing boundaries without losing the essence of the painterly. The most monumental work of Kainebi was “Trash-ing”, shown at Center for Contemporary Art Lagos, in 2009. He has undertaken several residencies at Harmattan Workshop Agbara Ator, Nigeria, Vermont Studio Centre, Johnson, USA and the School of Visual Art, New York in the USA. His works are to be found in public and private collections in Nigeria and abroad.


20151109 ketjilbergerak

“Taman Tiban ”
Site-specific installation, performative activities
In collaboration with: youth community and ketjilbergerak community

Based upon research conducted among groups of young people, ketjilbergerak is of the opinion that the increasing limitation and disappearance of public spaces in Yogyakarta is an issue that must be addressed. In this work, ketjilbergerak works together with the involved communities in creating public spaces and simulating citizen proposals on imagined public spaces. It is anticipated that in the future the “Taman Tiban” project will occupy empty spaces in Yogyakarta.

ketjilbergerak started as a zine publisher and discussion group on arts, philosophy and cultural studies in 2006. In 2008 they started to be a youth-based creative community & social movement, committed to work in education, arts and culture, collaboratively, encouraging the youth to produce their own culture, being dialectical and critical in a playful way. Ketjil Bergerak creates art projects, researches, organizing workshops and exhibitions. They have been participated in many arts and cultural events in Indonesia.



20151109 Lifepatch

“SKS – Sistem Kebut Sekolah”
Workshop, games, site-specific installation
In collaboration with: Wukir Suryadi, Serrum, dan Anti Tank

Indonesian official education system – from the elementary school up to the university – has been the state’s instrument of power for a long period of time. The education institutions act as the factory that’s responsible in producing and distributing state-sponsored knowledge. In the regime of knowledge and its validation, there’s no more room left for diversity of knowledge especially the grassroot-based one. It’s such a shame since the people in the grass root level has been inventing many strategies to develop the version of technology in the name of survival. For them, the lack of care from the official education system has been a source of inspiration and invention. The work is meant to be the medium for the initiatives of local communities in intervening education system and building critical mode of knowledge exchange. The vision is realized by conducting applicative interdisciplinary study and initiating collaborative works among practitioners.

Lifepatch is a community based organization created in 2012, in Yogyakarta. This organization has explored creative and effective application in science, art and technology. During the process, Lifepatch has focused on an art and education approach through education practice in the use of technology that is effective for the society. Lifepatch has its prominent principal in conducting their activity, such as DIY (Do It Yourself) and DIWO (Do It With Others). With these spirits, they involve its member and other people, to conduct research, explore, develop and maximize the function of technology. By doing so, Lifepatch tries to stimulate a new and more explicit pattern and system from the creative process by individual and community. It is also a process to stimulate human interaction and cooperation among groups with different disciplines. Lifepatch has participated in numerous art, culture and technology projects, both locally and internationally.


20151109 Maryanto

“Sweet Crude, Black Gold”
Acrylic on wooden board
In collaboration with: Victor Ehikhamenor

In “Sweet Crude, Black Gold,” Maryanto underlines the irony that has emerged since man found oil, where wealth and destruction come hand in hand. Not only is he focusing on the environmental damage, this work emphasizes on the tragedy faced by former colonies such as Indonesia and Nigeria. In the presence of oil politics, a nation’s independence becomes crude. Humanity becomes increasingly cheap and common welfare sounds like a luxury. However, one thing remains: discussing the issue of oil in Indonesia and Nigeria means digging for a similar fortune while looking for that light at the end of the tunnel in determining a shared destiny.

Maryanto was born in 1977, Jakarta. In 2005 he graduated from Faculty of Fine Art, Indonesia Institute of the Art, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He mainly uses drawings and he has explored several mediums as installation and community art project. He derives his inspiration from many sources including industrialization, globalization, exploitation, social transformation, postcolonialism and urbanism. He usually conducts research to support his creative process. He believes that an artist should take her/his political position. By taking position doesn’t mean to choose between the black and white, but with creativity, an artist should intensify social discussion and inspire people. He has participated in exhibitions in Indonesia and internationally, both in group and solo. In 2012 – 2013 he attended residency program from Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, Nederland. He currently lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Ndidi Dike

20151109 Ndidi

Ndidi Dike
“Trace: Transactional Aesthetics”
Photography, spices, food, interactive
In collaboration with: Elia Nurvista, Temitayo Ogunbiyi

Ndidi Dike presents an installation that bring us closer to the activities involving trade and commodities. This time Dike’s project seeks to explore the history of commodity in Indonesia and Nigeria. Specifically  viewing of various products in Lagos markets appears to be in a seemingly chaotic state, but a second look reveals an ordered  nature of aesthetically arranganged street market tableaus. The history of trading commodities as well as establishing a relationship between the two countries has strengthened Nigeria’s relationship with Indonesia as well as those of other equatorial countries.Also playing a metaphor for the colonial influence over commodities and consumption is the inclusion  of the  historical and popular tea tray with all its accruements and delicacies referencing a shared colonial history between Indonesia and Nigeria through our colonial bonds. It has also brought to fore the discourse on the nations dependence on local produce goods and the political underpinings of food production and consumption. The work has the potential to provoke questions about the culture of commodity and politics of food that has become much like air; it is present but its existence is rarely questioned.

Ndidi Dike is a visual artist working in a variety of media including installation, sculpture, mixed media painting and more recently lense based media. She was born in London. Ndidi derives her inspiration from a diverse range of sources including urbanism., consummerism, globalization, post colonial studies, history of slavery,cross border/country migration,multi culturalism,art history and contemporary politics.. She has participated in exhibitions in Nigeria, Africa and internationally. Including Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa, Whitechapel Art Gallery ,London,England (1995). Recent solo shows are, Waka-into-bondage: The Last Mile at CCA Lagos. (2008) and Unknown Pleasures Competting Tendencies at the National Museum Onikan Lagos (2012) she currently runs a studio and lives Lagos, Nigeria.

Olanrewaju Tejuoso

20151109 Olan Rewaju

Olanrewaju Tejuoso
“Black Market Museum”
Museum, house, found objects, mixed-media installation
In collaboration with: Prison Art Programs

Every day, human activity produces trash. It is not only through production and consumption; the application of social norms in society produces trash too. On behalf of the social norms in society, we recognize the term “scum of society.” Whether it’s consciously or unconsciously, we’ve always lived in selective social conditions, accepting certain values and discard others. Through this project titled “Black Market Museum”,Tejuoso seeks to breathe life into everything that has already become outcasts. Ranging from packaging waste, abandoned building to human resources cast aside by social norms. By doing so, he not only inhales life into the trashes, but he also instills new values and invites us to always remember the benefit of these repurposed materials.

Olanrewaju Tejuoso was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State of Nigeria. He is a painter, performance and installation artist. He studied Fine Art at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has exhibited throughout Nigeria as well as internationally. He is passionate about the environment and society. He beliefs that his concern for his people and environment is a divine which he called “From Waste to Life.” He uses found object and trash for the art material. Trash or waste is not merely considered literally, but metaphorically. For him, abandoned building and abandoned people are also part of his concern. He maintains his long term project, Aroko Green Museum, taken place in an abandoned building belongs to the government. In this building he exhibits his found object works. He also let other homeless people live in that building. Besides, he facilitated art workshops for children in across Nigeria. He lives and works in Abeokuta, Nigeria.

Punkasila & Slave Pianos

20151109 Punkasila

Punkasila & Slave Pianos
“Rough Ride/Soft Power”
Musical instruments, costumes, flags, music performances on stage and in public spaces
In collaboration with: Fitri Setyaningsih, Erson Padapiran, and football supporter community ‘Geng Liyud’

In this work, Punkasila explores how confusion and fear are managed as a cultural modality in society. For those in power, such as the state, markets, and paramilitary groups, creating and managing disorder is a valuable political modality. For oppressed societal groups, however, confusion is a way to combat the domination of the regimes in power. On the streets, societal groups can stand up to authoritarian power by making noise and planned presentations. The uproar of mechanic noise, choreographing driving routes, and various other performances are a common language in the battlefield of contesting power.

Punkasila starts from an art project initiated by Danius Kesminas, an Australian artists, with some other Indonesian artists, musician and researcher in Yogyakarta 2006. This project has continued to be a Melbourne and Yogyakarta based artist collective. Punkasila is interested in socio-cultural problem of urban society. Punkasila has created songs, modified musical instruments, costumes, videos, comics, design, painting and explored some other mediums of art. Punkasila has released two musical albums, Acronym Wars and Crash Nation, distributed by Revolver – Archiv fur Aktuelle Kunst and Yes No Wave Music. Punkasila participated in Havana Biennale, Cuba in 2009. This group has also participated both as an art collective and a band in Indonesia.

Rully Shabara

20151109 Rully

Rully Shabara
“Do.Re.Mi.No” & “Cari Padu”
Human musical instruments, participatory improvised choir
In collaboration with: Ace House Collective, audience

For Rully Shabara, spontaneity is a form of dealing with conflict. Spontaneity seeks its own path in the midst of chaos, manipulating space or outwitting the situation. Through spontaneity, individuals or groups create processes which lead to understanding or even create solutions. In this work, Rully Shabara uses spontaneity as a keyword for creating a method to process chaos and conflict. Chaos is revealed with the sounds of people’s voices, while the potential for conflict is manifested through the blurring of boundaries between visitors and the art work. How do visitors create their own positions in the midst of the clamour of voices and fluid spaces, and then take productive values from within this chaos?

Born in Palu, Central Sulawesi. Graduated from English Literature Department of STBA-LIA Yogyakarta, and has been working as interpreter and translator before committed to shift sail as an artist working with sound and music. He is interested in exploring human voice as a medium of creation, and oral traditions, folkloric texts as subject of study. His first music project Zoo —a post-hardcore punk band, builds up a reinvention of post-apocalyptic civilization, by addressing specific theme for different album, one at a time. In 2011, he collaborated with Wukir Suryadi —a musical-instrument builder, formed a band Senyawa that pushes musical range to both extremes: high-low, harsh-soft, yet creates a subtle mix between modern and traditional patterns. They have had tours and collaborations in Australia and Europe with many renowned experimental musicians. His latest project Raung Jagat is an improvisation based choir system specifically created to conduct vocal improvisations in a totally experimental manner. Rully lives and works di Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Segun Adefila

20151109 Segun

Segun Adefila
“Strategic Multilogue”
Video installation

Every group in society has its own way of understanding its natural and social environments. The Egungun Masked dance has long been a part of the daily life of the Yoruba community in Nigeria, and is practiced for the common good. This dance is usually done to ritually “cleanse” the environment of things seen as negative, a ceremony to celebrate births and deaths, a medium to bring messages and hope, and as a festival. In “Strategic Multilogue”, Segun continues the Yoruba traditional way of understanding the world through scocial recreation of of traditional Egungun dance performances.

Segun Adefila is a theater director and choreographer. His first encounter with arts started from his childhood, in which as a child, he danced with masquerades during traditional festivals. He had his informal training in theatre with Black Image Theatre Company.
In June 1996, formed Crown Troupe of Africa with a couple of friends in his neighborhood. With this group, he shares a common belief in the viablity of the arts as a tool for social re-engineering, a major motive of dedication to creating works that are socially relevant, thought provoking and empowering. In 1997, he studied for a certificate in Drama from the defunct Centre for Cultural Studies, University of Lagos. He then obtained his B.A. in Creative Arts from the same institution in 2002. He has worked extensively in the integrated arts of dance, drama, music and visual arts and has created works with his group of young theatre makers. He has involved in numerous projects and performances, both individually and group, in Nigeria and internationally. He lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.


20151109 Serrum

“KurikuLab: Pasar Ilmu”
Site-specific installation, workshop, archival research, mural, black board, table, chair, stationary
In collaboration with: Lifepatch, ketjilbergerak, Amarachi Okafor

For Serrum, the only interest of Indonesian official education system in its subject is planting strategic values in their heads. It leaves anything else behind. The system does not work in a flexible manner but in a restraining one. Making such condition as a starting point, Serrum then conducts some researches on the practices of alternative education – both formal and informal one – in Yogyakarta. Serrum intends to dig what’s being offered by them and measure their chance of survival under the dominance of the official education system. The vision of the project itself is to invent a studying space in which the people participate in deciding what’s needed and what’s to study.

Serrum is an art organization founded in 2006 by several students of art education, Jakarta National University. Serrum focuses on the research of social and education through art as medium. The program initiated by Serrum includes such public activity as art exhibition, public art, residency, workshop, drawing course for children and comic publishing. Serrum has collaborated with individu and group or institution with various different background, both locally and internationally.

Tarlen Handayani


Tarlen Handayani
News clippings, paper, scissors, glue, cutter, workspace, interactive simulation

Media have an important role in shaping societal views on a certain event. Internet technology has democratised information, while also offering society the opportunity to participate in shaping views. Both social media and community journalism offer many facts and data on a certain event to be disseminated, while also reflecting various views. However, there is still a risk that one view will become dominant, and this can create tension between groups. This project invites visitors of the exhibition to simulate and recreate recent headline news, to find various views.

Tarlen Handayani, founder of Tobucil & Klabs, freelance writer and book binder. She founded Tobucil & Klabs—a small bookshop or info shop and community space in 2001.  One of its missions is to support the local literacy movement for capacity building in order to produce new thought and evaluate them. Tobucil has built approach to implementing the literacy movement in everyday life with regular clubs like writing club, Everyday Philosophy club, reading club, knitting club. In 2008 she got grant from Asian Cultural Council and learned about how to develop audience and communities in museum in Brooklyn Museum.

Personally, She decided to develop her skill as a book binder.  Book binding not only making a books, but also a mission to persuade people to write what they thought.  In 2012, with three other friends (local artist: Keni Soeriatmadja, R.E. Hartanto and Dewi Aditya) created program it called Book Play Project. In the beginning was group exhibition that each of them made art book, exhibition held in UNKL 347 Bandung in February 2012 and then Kedai Kebun Forum (KKF) Yogjakarta (November – December 2012).  Her recent essay was publish for book ‘Craftivism The Art of Craft and Activism’, Edited by Betsy Greer and published by Arsenal Pulp Press, UK, 2014. She lives and works in Bandung, Indonesia.

Temitayo Ogunbiyi

20151109 Temitayo

Temitayo Ogunbiyi
“Created Just For You”
Text and drawing above food packaging boxes, trays, tables
In collaboration with: Elia Nurvista dan Ndidi Dike

Ogunbiyi’s exploration of contemporary food and romance continues in this new, ongoing work. Here, she concieves of a fragmented narrative.  Its content is derived from love SMS booklets circulated in Nigeria, romantic Indonesian films, and fast food packaging. The latter represent Nigerian and Indonesian restaurants, and become entangled with and inflected by the romantic context of the work. She invites visitors to the exhibition to construct their own narratives by way of rearranging the elements of her presentation.

Born in Rochester, New York, Ogunbiyi is an artist and a curator. In June 2006, she graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of the Arts. She then earned a Master’s degree in Curatorial Studies and Critical Art Theory from Columbia University in 2011. She creates mixed-media artworks. Her approach is often site-specific, and explores forms of communication and exchange—in pattern, historical context, and human behavior. She uses drawing, fabric, and collage to fragment, reorder, and frame source material, which often includes content from the Internet. Ogunbiyi has exhibited in Nigeria and across the African continent. Additionally, her work has been shown in New York City, Philadelphia, Berlin, and St. Louis. She is currently exploring contemporary love, food, and education. In 2013, she founded Uzora Projects through which she undertakes various educational and curatorial projects. She lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria; Yallahs, Jamaica; and Gwynedd, Pennsylvania.

Uche Okpa Iroha

20151109 Uche

Uche Okpa-Iroha
“To Whom Shall We Give it To”
Video, photography, drawing
In collaboration with: Chimejeada Jedidiah Okpa-Iroha, Aderemi Adegbite and Bisoye

Through this work, Uche Okpa-Iroha tests a collaborative method while reflecting on the artist’s existence in the midst of society. This means revealing his private life in the midst of a social existence, which also has within it elements of artistic life. In reflecting his social and personal existence, he involves several people, including members of his own family, as his collaborators. While testing his methods for artistic collaboration, he uses various mediums, beginning with photography, drawing and video. For Okpa-Iroha, the process of discussion, negotiation or even the arguments involved in collaboration are a vehicle that can be used to evaluate collaborative methods and questioning our identity.

Uche Okpa-Iroha is a photographer and visual artist who lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. He studied at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Okpa-Iroha’s first major project, “Under Bridge Life,” was published in 2008 and later awarded the Seydou Keita Prize for best photographic creation at the 8th Bamako Encounters. His interest is based purely on humanity and he likes to report the essence of human conditions in pictures that will inform and clarify the mind of the onlooker (the viewer). He was in the inaugural project of the Invisible Borders Trans-African Photography Project in 2009 and a founding member of the Blackbox Photography Collective. He is also founder of the Nlele Institute and was a fellow of the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kusten, Amsterdam. Okpa-Iroha recently exhibited his series “The Plantation Boy” at Lagos Photo 2013 in Lagos, Nigeria and the JoBurg.

Victor Ehikhamenor

20151109 Victor

Victor Ehikhamenor
“The Wealth of Nations”
Installation, drawing, drum, water
In collaboration with: Maryanto dan WASH (Weekly Art Sharing)

In June 1998, three weeks after Indonesian president Suharto stepped down, Nigerian military dictator Sani Abacha reportedly died of a heart attack. Both countries entered a new era, free from their respective authoritarian regimes that had held power for many years or so it seems. Nigeria and Indonesia are producers of oil, which more or less determine their position within the international market and politics. The existence of oil has fuelled corruption more than any other factor. This is the background for Ehikhamenor’s work, “The Wealth of Nations.” Ehikhamenor repurposes hundreds of old oil drums as the main medium of his indoor and outdoor installations to address resource control and environmental degradation. The drums are painted over, highlighting Ehikhamenor’s well-known style of iconic drawings. Empty oil drums has its own historical precedence. After Nigeria civil war, military execution of coup plotters, political prisoners and armed robbers were carried out openly as a Sunday fanfare with sand-filled drums as the backdrop and bullet-catcher. The drums represent a macabre memory for the artist.

Victor Ehikhamenor is a Nigerian artist, photographer and writer who has been prolific in producing abstract, symbolic and politically motivated works referencing history and memories. His works are influenced by the duality of African beliefs and Western/Catholic political intervention. His motifs are symbols reminiscent of his childhood village shrines in Benin Kingdom. His short story “Madam” and drawings Postcards from Italy were part of the German pavilion in the 56th Venice Biennale All The World’s Future curated by Okwui Enwezor in 2015. He has published numerous fiction and critical essays with mainstream magazines and newspapers round the world including the New York Times, BBC, CNN Online, Washington Post, Farafina, AGNI magazine, Wasafiri, etc. He has also designed numerous book covers for authors and organizations like Chimamanda Adichie, Helon Habila, Chika Unigwe, The Caine Prize in London, and many others. Ehikhamenor is the author of Excuse Me! a satirical creative non-fiction. He maintains a studio in Lagos, Nigeria and Maryland, United States.
B.A. 1991 (Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria), 2003 (University of Maryland, University College), MFA 2008 (University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland USA.

Wukir Suryadi

20151109 Wukir

Wukir Suryadi
“Hacking Artworks”
Installation, musical instruments, musical performance
In collaboration with: Ardi Gunawan, Lifepatch, Anti Tank, Arts Music Today

In this work, Wukir Suryadi is working with Ardi Gunawan to make a musical instrument from a work of art that is considered obsolete by the artist. Wukir departs from the same concept as Ardi, regarding how the production process for artworks encompasses material processing, leaving behind waste, or even “rubbish”. Does this rubbish retain a value, symbolic or material, that can be utilised? The musical instruments are played together by professional musicians and composers in an ensemble.

Born 1977 in Malang, East Java. Wukir is an autodidact artist who studied art with Sanggar Teater Idiot, in Malang since he was 12 years old. He started to have interest in experimental music since he studied with a contemporary musical composer, I Wayan Sadra. His traditional art roots has been contributive to his unique characteristic in the process of sound exploring through the process of musical instrument making. It has also been important to transgress the boundary among traditional music, avant-garde and death metal.

He formed Senyawa band with Rully Shabara. With this he has been part of the world experimental music scene. As a musician and co-curator, in 2013-2014, he participated in an art project The Instrument Builder Project with Kristi Monfries and Joel Stern. Wukir has collaborated with many prominent artists, such as I Wayan Sadra, Leo Kristi, Arahmaiani, Melati Suryodarmo, Keiji Haino, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Damo Suzuki, Rabih Beaini. He lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


Yazied Syafa’at

20151109 Yazied

Yazied Syafaat
“Giliranku! (It’s My Turn!)”
Tour, video, photography, text, advertising
In collaboration with: komunitas penikmat seni (arts enthusiast community)

Culture, including art, is one form of knowledge production that can reflect the dynamics of society in the time and place that it is produced. Alongside the changed that take place in our society – including the development of information technology and the ways in which individuals connect with each other – the possibility for interaction that is created through art works and visitors has become increasingly diverse. Yazied Syafa’at’s work aims to reveal the possible interactions that are created between exhibition visitors and the works around them. This is Yazied Syafa’at’s effort to show that at art events, artists, art works and visitors have the opportunity to interact and exchange understanding from an equal footing.

Yazied Syafaat was born in Yogyakarta, 1978. He graduated from Visual Communication Design, Indonesian Institute of the Arts and Communication Studies, Gadjah Mada University, both are located in Yogyakarta. In 1999 he co-founded an advertising agency, Srengenge Culture Lab, which focuses on product research which has strong cultural value. He has won several advertising awards such as Pinasthika Award, Citra Pariwara, Cakram Award and become a jury since then. He has been participated in numerous seminars in Indonesia and abroad, as a facilitator. Syafa’at also works as a marketing communication consultant in some design magazines, such as Concept and Mix Magazine. He lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Yudi Ahmad Tajudin

20151109 Yudi Ahmad Tajudin

Irwan Ahmett – Tita Salina & Yudi Ahmad Tajudin 
“Restitution of 1755: Hacking Giyanti”
Procession, discussion, performance

As in their previous works that address the complexity of problems, the collaboration of artist duo Irwan-Tita and Yudi Ahmad Tajudin attempts to play with foundations of historical legitimacy, which are now rarely questioned. In this work, the artists are interested in conflicts about living spaces that have recently emerged in Yogyakarta, both at the elite and grassroots levels. To find solutions for these conflicts, this art project focuses on the Giyanti Treaty and in so doing delves into the history of the city as well as the NgayogyakartaHadiningrat kingdom. “Restitution of 1755: Hacking Giyanti” has not been created to determine the truth or authentic history, but intentionally questions the legitimation of the Yogyakarta Sultanate. As such, this work asks us to always be mindful of all forms of power legitimation.

Yudi Ahmad Tajudin was born in 1972 in Jakarta. He is a prominent Indonesian theater director and also a founding member and artistic director of Garasi/Garasi Theater Performance Institute, a multidisciplinary artist collective based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. His works includes interdisciplinary projects with other prominent artists and his critically acclaimed works range from contemporary opera, Dance Theater, classical drama, performance art and interpretation of Javanese traditional performing arts. His vision in theatre making is also an attempt to read, investigate and perform the concerns of the society, or to understand the ever-changing realities.

Known as a cutting edge director who has brought Indonesia’s theater scene to the next aesthetic level, Yudi was granted an ‘Art Award 2014′ from Ministry of Culture, Indonesia, and in 2013 Garasi Theater was named a Prince Claus Laureate for, among others, “their adventurous spirit and groundbreaking work in stimulating performing arts in South East Asia.” Yudi lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Yustoni Volunteero & SAKI

20151109 Yustoni

Yustoni Volunteero & SAKI
“Kampungku Uripku”
Site-specific installation, video, drawing, documents, mural

In this work, YustoniVolunteero collaborates with SAKI, a community group from KampungLedokTukangan. This kampung, in the middle of Yogyakarta, developed without proper infrastructural planning. Over time, the kampung has become increasingly populated with workers, because of its proximity to the centre of economic activity. These new inhabitants live alongside those who have been there for a long time. Apart from an ever-changing cityscape, due to the increased building of multi-storey buildings, relationships between members of society also experience changes. Because of these changes, Volunteero believes that it is necessary that a cultural movement emerges which focuses on archiving the data, memories and oral histories of the local community. These can be used as for community study, and act as a tool in addressing change.

Born in Yogyakarta in 1972, Toni graduated from Fine Art Department, Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Toni has explored numerous mediums such as painting, drawing, installation, performance art and participatory art to discuss political issues in Indonesia. He has been known as a founder of Taring Padi, a political art collective as well as a populist cultural organization, started in 1999. With some fellow artists in this collective, he developed community based propaganda art projects, such as Festival Memedi Sawah located in Polanharjo and Delanggu in 1999. He has participated in numerous art, cultural and political activities in Indonesia and abroad. Toni lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Yusuf Ismail

20151109 yusuf Ismail

Yusuf Ismail
“Fluxcup Chroma Key Project”
Video, internet
In collaboration with: pengguna internet (internet user)

Virtual world of the internet has given us a sense of limitlessness in terms of space and time. Through digital application and social media, it touches and transforms almost all of human sides including the most private ones. In it human plays the role of producer and consumer at the same time. Realizing the power possessed by the internet, the government begins to try to put it under its control. Responding such condition, Yusuf Ismail creates an imaginary character namely Fluxcup. Fluxcup is invented to construct the dynamics of virtual reality and, in the same time, to deconstruct the reality through its critical utterances.

Yusuf Ismail was born in Bogor, 1982. He studied sculpture at Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung. Yusuf interested in new media culture discourse. He takes a distance with the great flow through the new medium of social criticism and tried to reconstruct the mental culture from where he live. The presence of this particular discourse had prompted him to materialize artistic strategies in order to deliver aesthetic offerings that are able to outsmart the expected control points. Yusuf won the first prize of Bandung Contemporary Art Award in 2012. He has been participated in exhibitions in Indonesia and abroad. He created a virtual character Fluxcup on Internet who extensively distributing disruptive video works. He lives and works in Bandung, Indonesia.

Artist Participants of Main Exhibition Biennale Jogja XIII Equator #3

Ace House Collective (ID)
Aderemi Adegbite (NG)
Agan Harahap (ID)
Ahmett-Salina (Irwan Ahmett-Tita Salina) (ID)
Amarachi Okafor (NG)
Anggun Priambodo (ID)
Anti Tank (ID)
Ardi Gunawan (ID)
Arief Yudi (ID)
Dodo Hartoko (ID)
Emeka Ogboh (NG)
Emeka Udemba (NG)
Elia Nurvista (ID)
Fitri Setyaningsih (ID)
Joned Suryatmoko (ID)
Kainebi Osahenye (NG)
ketjilbergerak (ID)
Lifepatch (ID)
Maryanto (ID)
Ndidi Dike (NG)
Olanrewaju Tejuoso (NG)
Punkasila (ID)
Rully Shabara (ID)
Segun Adefila (NG)
Serrum (ID)
Tarlen Handayani (ID)
Temitayo Ogunbiyi (NG)
Uche-Okpa Iroha (NG)
Victor Ehikhamenor (NG)
Wukir Suryadi (ID)
Yazied Syafaat (ID)
Yudi Ahmad Tajudin (ID)
Yustoni Volunteero (ID)
Yusuf Ismail (Ucup) (ID)

Main Exhibition Program of Biennale Jogja XIII Equator #3: Hacking Conflict – Indonesia Meets Nigeria

20151109 Pameran Utama

The main exhibition of Biennale Jogja XIII will be held in November the 1st to December the 10th 2015. It is the first exhibition of the Equator series curated by an artist, Wok The Rock. He was selected by the artistic director, Rain Rosidi. Wok The Rock is working together with a Nigerian based curator, Jude Anogwih and Biennale Jogja researcher, Lisistrata Lusandiana.

After the research he conducted in Nigeria, Wok The Rock decided to explore actual issues faced by both Nigeria and Indonesia after the end of the military regime. The discussion of the actual issues is done to avoid the stereotypical discourse addressed to both countries. Criticism addressed toward the unstable democracy practice would be the base of theme exploration. Through the exhibition, curator and artists engage audience to conduct experiment in the making use of conflict, chaos, misinterpretation and difference, considering their inherent position within democracy system. Conflict has been considered as an evil needs to be removed for a harmonious relationship. As a matter of fact, conflict always exists in the democracy since everyone has the right to speak. Hence, conflict should be considered positively. It is a principal thing in democracy that needs to be managed to achieve harmony we’ve never imagined.

Based on the theme, the curator has designed an exhibition in the form of activity space. The space is created with the participants with various different backgrounds through the collaborative process. An intense discussion forum of the participants is hold monthly for processing collaborative art projects. The aim of the collaboration is to create synergy within the works and to stimulate conflicts during the process. Since the theme is not merely a narration. The exhibition is trying to create a space which has the power of public intervention in an artistic way. The main goal is the public involvement for generating public opinion. By doing so, art will open the possibility of a new initiative, aspiration and discourse distribution.

There are 23 participants from Indonesia and 11 from Nigeria take part of the exhibition. They are Ace House Collective, Aderemi Adegbite, Agan Harahap, Amarachi Okafor, Anggun Priambodo, Anti Tank, Ardi Gunawan, Arief Yudi, Dodo Hartoko, Elia Nurvista, Emeka Ogboh, Emeka Udemba, Fitri Setyaningsih, Joned Suryatmoko, Kainebi Osahenye, ketjilbergerak, Lifepatch, Maryanto, Ndidi Dike, Olanrewaju Tejuoso, Punkasila, Rully Shabara, Segun Adefila, Serrum, Tarlen Handayani, Temitayo Ogunbinyi, Uche Okpa Iroha, Victor Ehikhamenor, Wukir Suryadi, Yudi Ahmad Tajudin, Yazied Syafa’at, Yustoni Volunteero and Yusuf Ismail.

Discussion forum of the participant has been started in May and hold monthly. The forum is hold in Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Lagos, both offline and online (via facebook group). This forum will be conducted until December 2015.
On July, 2 Indonesian artist, Anggun Priambodo and Maryanto, had a residency in Lagos, Nigeria for two months. They went to Lagos for cultural observation and started producing their works. The next residency program is going to be done by 5 Nigerian artists. They will stay in Yogyakarta for a month, October to November.

The main site of the exhibition is Pendopo Ajiyasa, Plaza JNM and Plaza Kriya Jogja National Museum. The exhibition site is designed to be a semi open air with the help of an artist and an architect, Iswanto Hartono. The activity space concept and the character of semi open air of the exhibition site will engage people in the neighborhood. Jogja National Museum will be the site of active interaction embracing numerous activities, such as performances and art events in every week. The event schedule will be published on the website, social media and Equator newsletter of Biennale Jogja in October 2015. See you guys in November 2015.

Hacking Conflict

Website ilustrasi

“Chaos is the truest friend of democracy” – William Blake.
I cited this ‘quote’ when I pitched my curatorial theme for the Main Exhibition of Biennale Jogja XIII 2015. It was a closed discussion held by the Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation on the 23rd of December 2014. I used this ‘quote’ to explain the theory of Agonism and its relation to my curatorial framework. After some time, I realized I had misquoted Blake! Realizing my mistake, I continued on, assuming those who had studied Blake in depth would recognize my mistake and would know the correct quotation is not “chaos is the truest friend of democracy” but “opposition is true friendship”. My mistake, I believe, was caused by one of three possibilities: I just forgot the original quote, I used an incorrect translation, or I was nervous in front of the Director and the Foundation and just too quick to the point of my curatorial strategy. Luckily, despite misquoting Blake, the audience could grasp the concept I presented and wanted to discuss it further. So finally, I actually projected the meaning of Agonism by misquoting the work of William Blake! So, what is Agonism? And what the heck does it have to do with Indonesia and Nigeria?To answer this question, I should go back to my trip to  Nigeria with Biennale Jogja researcher, Lisistrata Lusandiana. We had 30 days travelling across Nigeria from 5 November – 5 December 2014 to continue the research program our colleagues – Yustina Neni, Director; Rain Rosidi, Artistic Director and Arham Rahman, Equator Editor had been conducting since July 2014. I was particularly interested in the depth of artistic intervention in public spaces and socially driven or engaged art practices in Nigeria. Lisis and I then broke these research goals down into focus areas. I focused on the dynamics of art and culture while Lisis examined the political and socio-economic context of Nigeria. Our findings then lead us to produce this year’s theme: Hacking Conflict.

The Jogja Biennale team had already challenged us to create a theme beyond just the similarities between Indonesia and Nigeria. We needed to create a theme that went beyond just similarities, a theme that could also embrace contemporary discourse, political context and social issues in both countries respectively. In order to do this we really had to feel and directly experience the dynamics and rhythms of life of Nigeria. We visited four cities: Abuja, the capital; Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city; Abeokuta, a small city not far from Lagos where Fela Kuti and Wole Soyinka hail from; and a small village in the region of Osogbo where we were hosted by an artist who is also a chief of the village. We spent most of our time in Lagos as we were drawn to its’ lively contemporary art scene. Our long list of recommendations took us deeper into Nigerian social life and forced us to consider bigger issues and political movements and how these affected the arts scene. Needless to say the list kept us on our toes. We went everywhere independently; we ate what the locals ate; we bargained at local markets and took public transportation. We travelled around, observed and engaged with people we met along the way- cultural figures, artists, activists, bus drivers, children, businessman, musicians, street food vendors and even soldiers. Throughout our travels, there were two key words that we often heard: ‘republic’ and, quite surprisingly, ‘intervention’. The word ‘republic’ was used almost everywhere. Kalakuta Republic, an art-collective basecamp and now a museum, initiated and owned by musician-political activist Fela Kuti; Cassava Republic, an alternative book publisher, Cellular Republic; a shop selling hand phones and  even a fast-food restaurant called Chicken Republic. On the other hand, the word ‘intervention’ was mostly in the work of artists, cultural figures, writers and authors. Based on these observations, Lisis and I agreed to make these words the basis of our research.  In other words, we tried to find out why these words are so ‘popular’ and prevalent in everyday life in Nigeria.

Indonesia and Nigeria are both post-colonial countries, share experiences related to authoritarianism and were both freed from authoritarian rule in the late 1990’s. In Indonesia, the authoritarian regime of the New Order was put to an end by relentless student demonstration and civil unrest. Nigeria on the other hand has a story that is a little more ‘unique’. In Nigeria, the authoritarian military regime was overthrown from within the military force itself. Upon the sudden death of military leader, General Sani Abacha in 1998, Major General Abdulsalami Abubakar, then Minister of Defense, took over control of the military and, in effect, of Nigeria and put an end to the authoritarian rule by initiating a general election later that same year.

So it is during this post-authoritarian era of both Nigeria and Indonesia that we start to see similarities again. In both countries, the people and the state begin to diverge in separate directions, each trying to formulate a democratic system that would best serve their country. Once again this friction and difference creates chaos as both sides insist on doing things their own way. This situation is of course made worse when the concept of the nation-state remains unclear – a dangerous position for a country with multitude of traditions, tribes and languages not to mention the rich natural resources scattered across multiple regions – again a situation Nigeria and Indonesia both shared. And so affect for both countries is a climate of ‘democratic’ chaos created by too many voices– even though all these voices are in fact competing against one another in the same race to ‘catch up’ to developed countries.

In practice, the right to self-expression in a country rich with diverse cultures and languages is a fertile ground for the birth of opposition. Freedom of speech creates opposition whilst democracy also aims for a sense of national unity. These two quests become incompatible, like water and oil; two things that, if not managed well, can be deadly ingredients in the construction of harmony. In most of the cases, conflicts are positioned as something to be avoided and prevented. This approach can lead to a society that is overly moralistic and anti-pluralism. In Indonesia, for example, we can see the concept of a ‘symmetrical society’ referenced, albeit ironically, on T-shirt designs by art merchandise label DGTMB (Daging Tumbuh). This lead to the realization of the potential of applying the theory of Agonism to explore the binary of harmony and chaos in both Indonesia and Nigeria respectively.

In the theory of Agonism, conflict has to be positioned positively. We have to be able to embrace and understand conflict as something that is essential and unavoidable in formulating harmony. While the theory of Agonism belongs to the field of political science, I want to project this theory to a different fields and new horizons – how is Agonism enacted in the daily lives of common people today? I don’t think it is constructive anymore to see democracy always in term of politics. We have to think about democracy as a way of life in times of political pluralism and socio-economic instability.

If we look at inconsistencies in access and distribution of technology as a symptom of economic instability, we can also see social innovation and the birth of unique form of improvisation. These innovations are not the products of the imagination of new things, they are the product of limitations and often misunderstanding. Similarly, if we look at collaboration- a favorable working system nowadays for its spirit of togetherness—a  misunderstanding of an idea can sometimes lead to an unexpected artwork. Sometimes the resulting work has a sense of newness because of its’ uniqueness. In this ‘messy’ working method we are able to see new spaces and chances. The process of creation then becomes a process of hacking and improvising. So, I believe we need a tactical strategy to hack and break down conflicts to create a symmetrical/ asymmetrical pattern—a harmony in chaos. This needs to be done by finding and presenting the seeds of conflicts and chaos through imaginative, open and dynamic collaborative activities; spaces to enjoy, to stimulate and to break down and hack, together.

The Main Exhibition of Biennale Jogja XIII will engage not only visual artists but a variety of participants and professionals from dancers, to book editors to graphic designers and engineers. The diversity of participants (artists) will stimulate friction and difference as they are prompted to collaborate with the curator and hack ideas and examples of conflict.

Jogja National Museum will be the central site for the Main Exhibition of Biennale Jogja XIII 2015. The Main Exhibition will take the form of a collaborative space beginning from the frame of contemporary art practice but involving a diverse array of participants as artists. The curator will also become an active collaborator within this framework. The curator and participants (artists) will be brought together explore and develop ideas communally in open forums. The purpose of these forums is for the artists to start from the same point, the same themes. From this point the artists will respond and create in all manor of ways, means and even sites beyond the central site of the Main Exhibition.  In this way it is possible for an artist to produce their own works yet their ideas and concepts are generated from the collective forum. This forum for participants will begin both online and offline from May until December 2015. Indonesian participants will perform a 30 day residency in Nigeria in July to research and respond to the online forum. Nigerian participants will come to Indonesia to produce works and solidify ideas developed in the forum.  In this way, the Main Exhibition can also be seen as a collective art project and is intended to be the site of experimentation with conflict.

The central site for the Main Exhibition will feature an exhibition space, performance stage and active workspace. The central site will host interactive projects intended for active participation by the audience and an information center for works in public space.

The Main Exhibition will become a platform to explore the production of mass opinions and experimentations with conflict using open forum collaboration and experimental working practices to generate and distribute public discourse.

-Wok The Rock-

Curators and Artistic Director

Budi N.D. Dharmawan - DSF6380a


Alia Swastika is a curator based in Yogyakarta, and has been working with the art scene in the city for almost 15 years. Aside of her projects in Indonesia, Ms Swastika had been involved in various international projects such as curator for Marker focus on Indonesia in Art Dubai 2012, co-Artistic Director of 9th Gwangju Biennale: Roundtable with 5 other curators and so on. She curated first edition of Jogja Biennale Equator Series: Indonesia meets India. She is now one of the board members of International Biennial Association representing Jogja Biennale.

Artistic Director

Rain Rasidi (born 1975) is an independent curator and lecture at Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta. He worked as curator for alternative space Gelaran (2000). In 2003, he joined residency program for arts management at Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and at the Asian Australian Art Center, Australia. His curatorial works: Neo Iconoclast (2014), Future of Us (2012), Jogja Agro Pop (2011), Indonesian Disjunction (2009), Utopia Negativa (2008), Jawa Baru (2008) and others.


Woto Wibowo aka Wok the Rock (born 1975) is an artist with interest in multidisciplinary medium to create works and projects based on collaborative action. He combines a sense of forming space, speculative investigation and medium experimentation as his artistic practice. He is now the Director of Mes 56, an artist-run-space focusing on contemporary photography.

Associate Curator

He is a founding member and Co-coordinator Video Art Network Lagos, ( and has taken part in several exhibitions locally and internationally as a practicing artist. Anogwih is a visual artist and curator living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. Recent curatorial projects include ARENA (where would I have got if I had been intelligent!).  Centre for Contemporary Art, Torun, Poland (2014); Àsìkò: Evoking Personal Narratives and Collective History.