Arts & Culture

ARTJOG MMXIX: Arts in Common

Resisting exclusivity, promoting inclusivity

Words by
Joice Tentry

B-Side attended the opening weekend of ARTJOG MMXIX. This week, we are dropping a special three-part series looking back at 12 years of ARTJOG, featuring some of the works at this year’s edition.

Read 12 Years of ARTJOG: Humble Beginnings to Brighter Futures here.

Attention all art enthusiasts: in case you were not there, ARTJOG was back for its 12th installation in Yogyakarta from 25 July to 25 August.

From its humble beginnings as the open-call ‘Jogja Art Fair’ in the early 2000s, the event has blossomed into the biggest art exhibition in Indonesia, hosting over 120 local and international artists annually and providing a platform for cross-cultural expression.

This year’s iteration, Common | Space, is part of a three-year trilogy known as Arts in Common.

Derived from the notion of “the commons” (aka. cultural repositories of resources, both material and immaterial), ARTJOG trains its eye on the collective ownership of arts among people and to resist concepts of exclusivity and singular ownership.

Hosted in the 3-storey Jogja National Museum, visitors will notice many artworks that frame the natural environment as common ground taken for granted. It also called on visitors to reflect and participate in its protection.

It is in this space where human beings interact with communal spaces around them — nature, ecological resources, and the universe, as well as technology and fellow human beings. The artworks of over 40 creatives, interspersed with music, dance and poetry enlivened the festival every evening.

A special project done by Teguh Osternik for example, entitled Daun Khatulistiwa, invites his audiences to preserve the beauty of marine life. Constructed as a shelter, it will be sunk into the ocean once the exhibition is over, in an effort to shelter and restore coral reefs. Mary Maggic’s Decolonize, which was conceived during her participation in the Jogja River Project, featured sculptures made from jelly and fungi.

Elsewhere, the environment is invoked through Sakatoya’s Cosmicpollutant, a theatrical performance about the sun was presented via a planetarium made from plastic waste.

Speaking at the opening, Heri Permad, the director of ARTJOG, revealed exciting plans of an ARTBALI expansion in Bali, alongside the second and third chapter of Arts in Common. Ambitious and optimistic, he and his team reiterated the festival’s commitment:

To be a space where artists from all walks can gather and are free to express their artistic aspirations, in the hope that newer artists will see that they have a place in the burgeoning Indonesian art scene.

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