Working with a new vision brought us to an awareness of curatorial work as collaborative work involving many parties. In this Biennale Jogja XVII, we gathered with a group of thinkers, activists, curators, writers, and artists; to jointly realize the ideas of translocality and transhistoricity. We also work with fellow villagers in team work, learning the ins and outs of history and situational knowledge.
Curatorial work is no longer centered on individuals, but rather a communal process between all of us. From Romania, Nepal, to the Central and Eastern regions of Indonesia, will meet with localities in Yogyakarta and several villages in Bantul. Art space and citizen space blend in. Biennale Jogja XVII sees the spirit of collectivity and communality as daily practices that rely on tacit knowledge. Knowledge that is shared, lived and inspired by many.
Introducing the Curatorial Team of the Biennale XVII 2023:
ALIA SWASTIKA – Direktur Yayasan Biennale Yogyakarta
Alia graduated from the Gadjah Mada University Department of Communication. Since 2008 she has been the curator and Program Director at Ark Galerie, Jakarta/Yogyakarta. She is now the Director of the Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation. Aside from curatorial work, she actively publishes articles in national and international newspapers, magazines, journals, and books. In 2011 Alia became the curator of the Biennale Jogja XI with Suman Gopinath (India), and then in 2012, became one of the Co-Curators of the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea—museums in Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2019, she was one of the curating consultants for the exhibition Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Besides doing curatorial work, she actively publishes articles in various newspapers, magazines, journals and books at home and abroad. In 2015, he founded the Study on Art Practices, which publishes the journal Skripta, a medium for contemporary art discourse. Her book “Artist Negotiation Practices” Women and Gender Politics of the New Order” was published with research support from the Ford Foundation in 2019.
NATASA PETRESIN-BACHELEZ – Konsultan Kurator Biennale Jogja XVII
Nataša Petresin-Bachelez is an interdependent curator, editor and writer. Since 2021 she has been head of the cultural programme at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris. Together with Elena Sorokina, she is co-founder of the Initiative for practices and visions of radical care. She was co-director of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (2010–2012, with Alice Chauchat and Grégory Castéra). She worked as chief editor of the journals Versopolis Review (2020-2021), L’Internationale Online (2014-2017) of the Manifesta Journal (2012-14). She organized symposiums at the INHA, Paris; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Tate Modern, London; and Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana. Together with Patricia Falguières and Elisabeth Lebovici she is the co-organiser of the seminar Something You Should Know (2016 – ongoing, EHESS, Paris). Since 2019, she has been working as a tutor at the Sint Lucas School of Arts, Antwerpen.
ADELINA LUFT – Kurator Biennale Jogja XVII
Adelina Luft is an independent curator and cultural organizer whose practice emerged and developed in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) along decolonial lines of thought and modes of working that favor processes, collaboration and interdisciplinarity. Her curatorial projects address trans-local affinities and the human/nonhuman relationship with land, migration, and identity. Since 2021 she is based in Bucharest where she initiated various projects, among which We Are Here to Stay with Arab immigrants/refugees in partnership with the Romanian Peasant Museum and MNTRplusC, or the group exhibition Ecologies of Repair at Gaep. She is currently a collaborator at tranzit.ro/Bucuresti and the co-curator for Biennale Jogja Equator 2023 where she previously took on various roles for the 2017 and 2015 editions.
SHEELASHA RAJBHANDARI & HIT MAN GURUNG – Kurator Biennale Jogja XVII
Sheelasha Rajbhandari, (b. 1988) is an artist and curator based out of Kathmandu. Her works draw upon an embodied and speculative lineage of femininities to question the positioning of women across time, landscapes, and cosmologies. Her practice is a provocation to reflect beyond neo-liberal conception of time in order to decenter patriarchal structures that perpetuate cycles of industrial extraction and individual exhaustion. For her, art-making is about making space for collective action. This questioning feeds into her recent artistic and curatorial approach that recompose notions of Indigeneity, gender, worth, and productivity.
Hit Man Gurung (b. 1984) is an artist and curator based in Kathmandu by way of Lamjung. Gurung’s diverse practice concerns itself with the fabric of human mobilities, frictions of history, and failures of revolutions. While rooted in the recent history of Nepal, his works unravel a complex web of kinships and extraction across geographies that underscore the exploitative nature of capitalism. These narratives revolve around the lived experiences of migrants caught between a dehumanizing transnational labor-based industry and an apathetic nation-state. He furthermore invokes Indigenous methodologies and epistemologies to fundamentally reconfigure contemporary artistic praxis.
EKA PUTRA NGGALU – Kurator Biennale Jogja XVII
Eka Putra Nggalu completed his philosophy education at STFK Ledalero Maumere. In 2015, he was one of the initiators of establishing the Komunitas KAHE, a community of interdisciplinary knowledge and practice that uses art to reflect ideas and social issues in society. Together with the Komunitas KAHE, several projects and platforms (theatre, literature, art, discussions) are initiated based on activating issues, capital, and community potential. Some that can be mentioned include the Maumerelogia theater festival (2016-2019), Maumere Exhibition (2019-2022), Flores Writers Festival (2021-2022), Voicing Bajo and Bugis People of Maumere (2020), and Re-Imagine Bikon Blewut (2022). He also actively manages and writes on the online media Laune, id.
GEGERBOYO – Artistik Kuratorial Biennale Jogja XVII
GEGERBOYO is a collaborative project between Enka Komariah, Prihatmoko Moki, Vendy Methodos, Anjali Nayenggita, Dian Suci (2017-2022) and Ipeh Nur (2017-2022). Formed in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in June 2017. Many of GEGERBOYO’s works are inspired by Javanese cultural traditions, urban culture, the connection between the two, and the correlation with current socio-political phenomena. GEGERBOYO’s practice method is similar to playing a play in a ketoprak performance, where one responds and replies to one another after previously agreeing on a big theme to be made. GEGERBOYO is a vehicle for experimentation, exchange of knowledge, and exchange of ideas, especially those related to Javanese culture and history and its development to date. The name GEGERBOYO is taken from the hill that surrounds Mount Merapi. A hill that protects the people around Mount Merapi from eruptions and hot clouds. This hill is long and jagged such as the shape of a crocodile’s back. Geger Boyo (Javanese) means; GEGER is back, and BOYO is a crocodile. Because the hill has a shape that resembles a crocodile’s back, the local people named it GEGER BOYO.
SHOHIFUR RIDHO’I – Peneliti Kuratorial Biennale Jogja XVII
Shohifur Ridho’i is a performance-maker, writer, dramaturg, and curator who present his works through theatre and dance performances, poems, essays, photographs, moving images, and social repertoire projects. His last education was majoring in Philosophy at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, Yogyakarta. In addition to his artistic practice, Shohifur has been developing the rokateater since 2016, a platform for the creation of performing arts that aims to be a space for experimentation to encourage the political aesthetic expression of young people. He is also a co-founder of Lembâna Artgroecosystem, an art initiative for studying historical landscapes and social choreography in Madura, East Java. Most of his works are created collaboratively, especially with other young practitioners from various disciplines. His new book, which has been published, is a long essay entitled “Menempuh Titik Buta: Fotografi dan Tanda Mata Kota-Kota” (2021). He currently lives and works between Yogyakarta and Madura.
MEGA SIMANJUNTAK – Peneliti Kuratorial Biennale Jogja XVII
Mega Nur Anggraeni Simanjuntak is an independent writer, researcher, and editor. Her work talked about issues ranging from family, generation, power relations, the internet, and trivial things in everyday life that hold a certain complexity. Exploring the issue led to a connection with Studio Malya, a Yogyakarta-based collective in which her actively involved.