ART JOG 2018
Updated: Jul 13, 2018
Paid the baby sitter.
Leaving today, to Jogyakarta for ArtJog, the festival. Special thanks to Country Arts SA for the Quick Step Grant.
What started out as a 'suss it' trip, to network for contacts for a future AsiaLink thingy, has turned into a residency. I'll be staying with Survive!Garage, they say they've got a bed for me, and if I can't get a studio space there then I'll find somewhere else!
Oh the poetics of life! I found this artefact in the grass in a park yesterday by my home in Pt Elliot, where I've just moved to after four amazing years in the Kimberley, kicking goals with the mob at Mangkaja Arts. Mangkaja just had 5 artists selected in the NATSIAA (aka The Telstra) which is remarkable. But this crazy little object in the grass, quite possibly was made in Indonesia, all though initial investigations show that it says 'Australia' and 'Hand made' on the reverse, which nearly fooled me, soft as I had become since I had moved back into the mainstream (or more correctly, into God's waiting room aka Victor Harbour area).The object is a heavy sign, for the battle of veracious culture versus its commercial simulacrum (see the fake art harms culture campaign). I might have these terms wrong, I'll look them up later... But I'm taking this object with me, as a bit of show and tell, the clay feet of a society that is eating its own tomorrow. Ever heard any one, or been the person to, who has been using some cheap looking plastic thing that breaks before it can fulfil its purpose (surprise!), exclaim 'fucking Chinese shit!'. Well when I lived in China, I never saw that cheap merch. They had the best damn plastic buckets $2 could by, and they had to be, because they were often full of concrete being carried up 5 flights of stairs, and carrying rubble on the way down. Australia imports garbage. And then we export all our waste (what, broken tv's and toasters?) to China! 'Fucking Orzie shit!' they used to say, before they had no use for it, and left our councils scratching their heads over the conundrum, searching for a spare litre of rainwater to flush it into the ocean.
I'm also taking to Jogya, a red-tailed black cockatoo feather.
Speaking of rubbish, I found this crap of paper (oops I meant scrap!) on the floor of my shed. Looks like a three armed man in a toga doesn't it? Which made me think of the origins of democracy, and the sign language they used back then. I picture a politician crossing the fingers on his third hand, existing solely for this purpose, either crossed for hope or crossed for deceit. The shadows on the paper remind me of the puppets used in Indonesia. Could be something to pursue, and cheap, and transportable. All things to consider.
Discernable pun: Paper Toga/Paper Tiger
It's fitting, that I'm flying via Canberra, the den of foxes, because a lot of my work satirises disappointing Australian public figures. If they don't know him already, I might introduce my Indonesian friends to Peter Dutton, sketches below. Like his head, and policies, they need some polish!
ArtJog officially opened on Friday, though there were openings happening before that. I've been told that there is officially, and unofficially over 100 exhibitions. Here's a video of the opening of ArtJog festival at the Jogya National Museum.
Actually, this was a wedding down the street. ArtJog was so packed it, we're talking at least a couple thousand peeps in the courtyard entry, so we just came back to Survive!Garage to hang out. The show is reportedly amaze-balls...
On the weekend I was invited to an outer village of Jogya to help paint a mural - with Ebang, a Survive! stalwart and two younger chaps who just graduated from Artschool and who have been doing an internship here (in Survive!).
The brief for the project...was to paint something relevant. The area is well known for the Jathilan ceremony, a performance based on horsemanship, but performed with props and an orchestra. Heres a link https://youtu.be/k4ubOKk1JfI , which cuts straight to someone falling into a trance, follow the thread to see some of the wild choreo.
Here is Bu Wiri, the Chief of Disaster Management from Kampung Begelen, describing the project.
Pumped from the good vibes, I was keen to paint some more once back in Jogja. Jack (from Goolwa would you believe) aka #dowatfeelsgood and Andres aka #anagard_stcl were gonna do a wall somewhere - Andres has heaps lined up - invited me out the next day before Jack flew back to Jakarta. I had no paint but Jack offered me some of his black and white that he had left over from his great piece back in Bagelen. For #westhepants, black and white can mean only one thing, Don't Panda time!
I met Andrew and Jack and the eatery next to the mechanics where Andres had negotiated the walls. All told we were done in just over a couple of hours I think. Its a high exposure spot, on the main road from Jogya to the beach, and I tell you what that traffic is incessant. I might get back there, Andres was like hey you should come back and do that wall there, and that box over there! I will. People don't believe me when I say I haven't done much street art, which is the same response I get when I say I haven't got any kids anywhere, in the world, nuh-uh (I'm pretty sure... )
Today I went to Artjog, a great show. Though I didnt count, it seemed there was something to enjoy about half the works, and half those again were really good. Thats a fantastic ratio for art. The theme was 'Enlightenment', which showed a lot more thematic effort than some other shows I've seen here, i.e. 'letting the materials speak for themselves' and 'contrasts, different artists work put together'. Having said that, and having said it was a great show, a lot of the work presented had merely a spurious connection to the theme. Art is well known for 'letting the viewer decide', so draw the bow long enough and you can squeeze the stiletto on any foot you like. It must often work like this, the curator chooses the artist she/he would like to work with, and asks them if they have any work for the show, even better if it fits the theme.
Before I go to highlights, let me bag out the painting. Perhaps I'm enjoying the humility of street art at the moment. Well, street art is humble as its out of the gallery, but its ego because you're claiming a space without invitation. I dunno, so somebody had this huge ball point pen scribble drawing - a departure for the artist apparently but really who cares? There was some detritus piece, multi panel with paint thrown across it. Crap. Clearly Ive got issues here so I'll take a rest....
Hate it when your chips are smashed in the packet? this is why. Dude here taking an adventurous selfie. Artist: Fajar Abadi
Artist: Franziska Fennert
You had to look up to the ceiling to see these suspended lamps. They were also reflected in circular mirrors below. Had a near heated interaction when I accidentally got in someones selfie shot. Artist: Jim Allen Abel
A great big flowery install about peace and love. Artist: Hiromi Tango
This guy was cute. Photos, drawings and video of him being a kite. Artist: Kevin Zhang
A work about belly buttons, i.e. navel gazing! Artist: Mella Jaarsma
There was other great work, moving image, a big breathing stone which was a good idea but seemed they ran out of money, several sculptures composed of - and this method is quite popular - multifarious titbits and toys, spray painted all the same colour, notable works by two names I recognised Eko Neguroh and Heri Duno who is at the South Australian museum and.... Quite a few works made of sculpted fibre glass, which if you can get it made for you, do it.
been a couple times again with Andrew, who has an insatiable appetite for lombek (walls), this one in central yogya:
these two down the beach, a hectic 45 minute scooter ride:
in case you're wondering , this is how we roll:
Bayu from SURVIVE! took me to Krebet village, renown for its resident artists. In particular, we visited the family of Trianto Kotrek, a inspired young artist, a graduate from Isi art school and sometime street artist. First however, we met his father. This man is some kind of eccentric genius. His upstairs studio, reached by (more than a ladder but less than a stair) is one man's imagination carved in wood, everywhere your eye lands, mostly on the ground, is a some esoteric carved object. There are a few dates painted on the wall, one of which refers to the day he had the idea to make the Wayang Batok, the coconut puppets, the first edition of which were collected by the Museum Sonobudoyo puppets. Pictured is his current project of over 100 individual puppets, for which he has a book containing the 100 unique and corresponding patterns. I was overwhelmed with thoughts of a future collabaration between he and John Prince Siddon, Mangkaja artist. Theres no telling what Prince, obsessive with pattern and always fixing to make bomb nuts come to life, would come up with in this environment.
Downstairs, and then up again, we came to Trianto Kotrek's own studio, his studio shares a wall with his fathers. A wash with colour, appropriated broken technologies given an absurd new life with paint, comic books neatly displayed, strange characters eschewing small fears. Judge a dude by his motorbike, young Trianto I think was finding a bit of success...
I've spent the last couple of days painting these murals at Taman Sari, the "water castle" relic in central Yogya. There was a couple of late nights, its Ramadan so my fellow artist don't eat till after dark and they don't like to work on an empty stomach. "Masih Banyak Yang Lain/Plenty More Fish in the Sea" refers to the Sultan's pleasure choosing from his concubines as they bathed below.
"Sesuatu yang bisa mengontrol/Somethings you can control"
Winding up the residency, I booked into Krack! studios to make some prints for the show. I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop, print making is a process pretty new to me.
Now, the Exhibition! I had photos of the murals, screen printing t-shirts by donation, and a couple of found object Don't Panda sculptures. In this photo, Anagard and Image. I painted a lot with these two inspirational artists. Had a great turn out for the exhibition, a solid SURVIVE!Garage crew.
Finally, its good by from the Don't Panda. Erupting here from the sacred zone into the real world (via a plastic chicken thingy). Big thanks again to all the support, especially SURVIVE!Garage and CountryArtsSA!