The largest annual contemporary art event in Indonesia, ARTJOG will be back at the Jogja National Museum (JNM), 7 July – 4 September 2022. With Expanding Awareness as its title, this year’s edition is the estuary of the ARTJOG arts-in-common series which has been held since 2019 in triplet thematic ‘space’ ‘time’ and ‘awareness’. The idea of expanding awareness is an entry point, not only to reflect on things that are happening and the actual condition we live in today, but also to understand what has not happened yet and still needs to work on in the future.
In a festival like ARTJOG, art can act as an interface for conversation and knowledge exchange, as well as an instrument that influences people to act. The exhibited works and the design of the programs this time carry the spirit of discovering the sensibility of the awareness of living together in a fair and equal way, not only among human beings, but also throughout nature. Pandemic has shown us more clearly how the world order has been filled with inequality and imbalance driven predominantly by elitism and exclusivism that tend to exclude and oppress. Reflecting on that experience, now is the right moment to open up the barriers that have confined art practice to classification and hierarchy for far too long.
This year, ARTJOG aims to encourage the expansion of awareness about inclusiveness. This spirit is also manifested in the design of the festival, from concept formulation, artist selection, exhibition room facility and physical infrastructure, to the implementation of its programs. During preparation, ARTJOG curatorial team and all program staff gained a lot of experience and knowledge from the inclusivity drivers in Yogyakarta, including the JDA (Jogja Disability Arts) group and Sanggar Seni Komunitas Tuli Ba(WA)yang. Through a number of meetings and workshops, they provided some valuable inputs on the design of the daily exhibition to how to interact with visitors. ARTJOG wants to build a mutual awareness through interaction based on respect for presence and equality, as stated by ST Sunardi, the speaker at the socialization event and theme discussion last February: “Expanding Awareness, the awareness referred to in arts-in-common is not a contemplative type of awareness, but it is a critical-interactive consciousness. This awareness almost always involves the other person in trying to make a decision.”
Inclusivity in ARTJOG MMXXII also includes an effort to involve children not only as visitors, but also as exhibition participants. Through an open-call mechanism, the curator team has selected 14 children and youth artists who will present their works with young and professional artists. In addition, there are also interactive works intended for children. The hope is that interaction regarding the shared art space can be experienced from an early age. Agung Hujatnikajennong, a curator of ARTJOG MMXXII said, “For the first time we are supporting ARTJOG KIDS, as a program dedicated to interacting with children visitors, in addition to educational program and workshop that prioritize the involvement of the disabled community. Again, all of this is just a pilot to be inclusive which of course needs to be improved in the next editions of ARTJOG.”
A Bandung-based artist, Christine Ay Tjoe, worked on an installation which was a special commission project this year to respond to the theme ARTJOG MMXXII: Arts in Common – Expanding Awareness. Over the past twenty years, Ay Tjoe has been known for her works that pay attention to the complexity of human life. This time she presents an interactive work inspired by the form of Tardigrada (a microscopic aquatic animal with an ability to suspend its metabolism when environmental conditions do not allow it to live). This work that depicts appreciation for vitality or resilience is designed in such a way that visitors can touch, feel and even hug it.
Like the previous editions, ARTJOG also presents works in various mediums. The participants consist of 61 individual and group artists from across generations, including Dolorosa Sinaga, Nunung WS, I Made Bayak, Iwan Yusuf, Nano Warsono (collaborating with Jogja Disability Arts), Komunitas Ba(WA)yang, Angki Purbandono and Alex Abbad , Jay Subyakto, Asha Darra Lawalata, Ivan Sagita, etc. In addition, children visitors can also enjoy interactive works from Tempa.
ARTJOG MMXXII will be accompanied by a number of distinctive companion programs such as; Weekly Performance, Young Artists Award, Exhibition Tour, Meet the Artist and Workshop. In addition, the regular activities of Jogja Art Weeks and ARTCARE were also held again. Every week there will be various activities such as Exhibition Tour (every Monday and Tuesday), Meet the Artist (every Thursday and Friday), and the Weekly Performance program which will be presented every weekend with performances of various performing arts. The detailed schedule can be obtained through the website and all ARTJOG social media channels.
ARTJOG Press Conference was held at Barley and Barrel Beer Garden, Artotel Suites Bianti Yogyakarta on Thursday, 30 June 2022 with Heri Pemad, Agung Hujatnikajennong, Gading Paksi and ARTJOG MMXXII commission artist, Christine Ay Tjoe as the speakers. Several participating artists such as Jogja Disability Arts and Ba(WA) were also present to tell about the works they would exhibit at ARTJOG this year. In addition, the ARTJOG MMXXII Press Conference was also attended by the DIY Provincial Culture Office and Dr. Drs. H. Agus Rochiyardi, M.M. – Director of Tourism Marketing of the Borobudur Authority Agency representing the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.
Text and images courtesy of ARTJOG.