The Jakarta Post
Visitors view Andrita Yuniza Orbandi’s Whirlwind of Time at the opening of art festival ARTJOG MMXIX on July 25. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)
Being held for the 12th time since its debut in 2008 as an art fair, ARTJOG was officially declared an art festival starting this year, exposing more collaborations and involving more parties in its organization.
“This is the term that we think best suits the event,” Agung “Jennong” Hujatnika of ARTJOG MMXIX’s board of curators said.
ARTJOG founder and director Heri Pemad concurred, saying that since the beginning, the event was always held in a festive atmosphere with the many fields of arts and the strong support of a number of parties, including local communities.
“ARTJOG is not like an art fair nor a biennale,” said Heri, who is also the director of Heri Pemad Management which co-organizes ARTJOG MMXIX. The event is to be officially closed on Sunday.
The festive atmosphere was indeed present at the opening ceremony on July 25, with a fashion performance by designer Lulu Lutfi Labibi known for his trademark lurik designs and a music performance by noted musician Dewa Budjana.
The same atmosphere was also present in other programs, such as the daily performance and the merchandise project.
The daily performance is presented as a common space for various practices and meanings of contemporary arts not limited to a single medium. Eighty-eight individual and group performers were selected to perform at the festival.
The selection of the performers involved a number of artists known for their unique practices and meanings in performing arts, such as Ayu Permatasari, Rully Shabara and Rangga Dwi Apraiadinur.
“Hopefully this program will give specific colors in their presentations,” ARTJOG MMXIX’s media relations officer Amelberga Astri said.
The program was organized in cooperation with various institutions, including German cultural center Goethe Institute and Nusasonic, Dutch cultural center Erasmus Huis, French cultural center IFI and with support from Djarum Foundation, she added.
“We have nearly 100 partners and sponsors for this year’s event, more than we had last year,” said Amelberga, underlining the involvement of various parties in ARTJOG, including local communities and the business sector.
A joint effort
Such collaboration can also be found in the works presented by 39 local and international artists selected for the month-long event, in which works of art also involve other field of arts or technology in their creation and presentation.
The use of technology in the display of contemporary artworks such as lighting, sound and projection has long been encouraged in ARTJOG.
This year, for example, the organizer is collaborating with PT Epson Indonesia for the use of 25 projectors.
“This is our fifth year of being involved in ARTJOG,” Epson Indonesia managing director Ishii Hidemasa said.
Even more compelling collaborations are present in the work of five multidiscipline artists selected for the special project program. They are installation artists Handiwirman Saputra, Sunaryo and Teguh Ostenrik, filmmaker Riri Riza and Piramida Gerilya (comprising Indieguerillas and Singgih S. Kartono).
The same can also be said for Elisabeth Schimana’s project Hidden Alliances, conducted with the IMA (Institute fur Media Archeologie).
Along with Iqbal Lubys, Patrick Hartono and Random Brothers, Schimana presented a sound performance on the ARTJOG stage.
For ARTJOG’s newest program LeksiKon, the organizer collaborates with Gunawan Maryanto and Arsita Iswardhani of Teater Garasi for sessions on performing arts for a number of selected artists performing for LeksiKon.
“Through this program, we challenge the artists who are not familiar with performing arts to perform,” Amelberga said.
As organizer, ARTJOG collaborates with various parties including the HONF Foundation for Merchandise Project and the MACAN Museum Foundation to provide residency grants for the winners of this year’s Young Artist Awards.
The support and involvement of different parties and communities made an impression on Australian art consultant Cassandra Lehman, who has been a regular visitor of ARTJOG since 2009.
“This is a rich and exciting exhibition. I love it,” she said during the event’s VIP preview.
Another thing worth noting is the publication of a guide book titled Jogja Art Weeks by the Yogyakarta Provincial Cultural Agency, to provide ARTJOG’s visitors with information on art and cultural events held in the same period as ARTJOG.
“During this particular time, Yogyakarta usually receives a huge number of visitors with both school holidays and ARTJOG happening,” Heri said. He believed that the annual event had an impact on the city’s tourism and economy.
He expressed hope that the government would pay more attention to the art world in the country. “We wish for the government to provide adequate infrastructure for the organization of art events,” he said. (wng)