Arahmaiani: Art, Women and Earth

Saturday 10 April 2021

10.00 - 13.00 WIB

Host

Avianti Armand
Discussants
Farid Rakun, Alia Swastika, Monchu

Arahmaiani is an important figure in the development of contemporary art as well as a pioneer of performance art in Indonesia. His work is a bridge - or even dialectic - between things that seem opposite; contemporary art and traditional culture, art and popular media, arts and environmental activism, feminism and religion, homeland and nomadism, globalization and nationalism, urban and rural. Arahmaiani not only provides critical insights into the complex intersections of nature, culture and politics but also facilitates a reinterpretation of Indonesian “women's” or “feminist” artistic ideas.

Since the 1980s, his art has drawn strong reactions from religious and political hardliners. In 1983, he criticized the New Order by drawing steel tanks and writing poetry on the streets. He was arrested, interrogated, then released on parole after a doctor stated he was mentally ill. That year he also left Indonesia and lived in Sydney, Australia. From his contact with marginalized groups such as Aboriginal people, hippies, and punk groups who opposed establishment through music and fashion, he found a reverberation of his anxieties about capitalism and globalization.

Arahmaiani's anxiety also includes issues of reproduction and control of the female body, as stated in his work: Do Not Prevent the Fertility of the Mind. An installation in the form of a 6m x 4m wall filled with sanitary napkins in almost all parts with a photo of himself holding scissors and contraceptives. In this work, he touched on the policy of the family planning program launched during the New Order government.

In 1993, his first solo exhibition took place at Studio Oncor, Jakarta, with the controversial headline: Sex, Religion and Coca Cola. One work in the exhibition, Lingga - Yoni, a symbol of balance between female and male energies is a universal value, found in many religions including animism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. This work made him face death threats due to accusations of insulting religion for painting male and female genitalia by including Arabic characters with the object.

Nomadism for Arahmaiani may not be just a fight or flight mechanism. However, he is more than just an international celebrity, isolated from Indonesian society and his art scene. Instead, she has always maintained strong ties to her homeland and, if not inspired, at least has been part of a much larger movement of creative women's activists. Arahmaiani's personalized nomadism has facilitated a reconnection with Indonesia's past, alternative interpretations of the homeland and the nation-state, and a vision of a more just and inclusive form of community. This is implemented from his environmentally sound projects with communities and communities in Java, Bali, Tibet and elsewhere, which are increasingly "practical" in nature.

In simple terms, Arahmaiani is important, because what he does is no longer producing "works of art", but integrating "art" into everyday life as an aesthetic process, not just aesthetic production. And art is an effective way for women and the earth to come back to our consciousness.


  • Unanswered questions during WEBINAR

    From Fransisca Retno

    Thank you, Arahmaiani's works is extraordinary because it has inspired us, the younger generation. regarding the project in Tibet since the pandemic status, how will it continue? Then how long does it take for people to become aware of and implement new habits rooted in the essence of traditional values ​​independently without any guidance from artists / activators, especially considering that Ms. Iani is a 'stranger' to them? Meanwhile, the question was, Rahayu.

    Answered by Arahmaiani:

    It seems that I have answered some of these questions in the website huh. The project in Tibet is still ongoing and there have even been other monasteries who have asked me to guide them. It's only because of the pandemic that I haven't been able to visit there again (since last year). Wow, if the question is how long it will take people to be aware of and implement new habits, it depends on their own abilities! But in my case my work in Tibet is going quite fast because the community system with monastic traditions is still strong can encourage awareness and action of the people in a more solid manner. And because they still have a culture of "reincarnation" I was believed to be a Tibetan in my past life. So I was not considered a "stranger" and accepted. My ideas were later accepted as well after going through discussions and debates with the monks. And my arguments were considered reasonable and they accepted. And then done together

    From Diaz Ramadhansyah

    Good morning, maybe you can tell it, how did Ms. Arahmaiani initially establish communication with the Tibetan people so that she won trust, which implies that the Tibetan people want to listen to their opinions and thoughts and carry out the program that you have initiated? thank you
    Yes, first I was believed to be a Tibetan (from my past life). And then I was accepted into a convent and given the position to lead this environmental and social movement. There is indeed a debate process for my ideas to be accepted by them (as I explained above). Because indeed in the Gluga monastery, the tradition of debating is part of their daily practice. Well, because I am also a critical person and like to argue, we are well suited!

    Are there any significant obstacles during your activities in Tibet? if so, how to deal with these obstacles with the limitations faced?
    The significant obstacle is the political condition because Tibet has been under Chinese rule since 1959, but until now the resistance from the Tibetans is still ongoing. And if I follow this pattern, I can be sure that I will not be able to work there because it will be prohibited by the Chinese government. So I have to find a right reason without having to enter into the general political discourse. And environmental issues which are meant for the benefit of all creatures on earth become alternative and creative solutions to that political condition! So I don't have to make statements in favor of one group because I will help all sentient beings (so in the political context I am a person who is not taking sides and will help both the Tibetan side and the Chinese side)

Q&A

    • Rayya:
    • I can feel that her presents was really something! I can feel her energies and her influences in my life.
    • Mona:
    • the past has not passed...
    • Suryani:
    • Bakal sangat menarik!
      Ikutan hadir.
    • Duta:
    • Ini mba Arahmaiani yang ke Tibet itu yaaa? Gilaa.. tetap teruskan mba perjuangan yang mba udah lakukan..
      suka banget dengan caranya membawa masyarakat ke hal hal yang lebih baik. Pembawaannya pun khas. Kalem, sederhana, gak neko neko.. pokoke suka banget sama gayanya deh!!
    • Srikandi:
    • Sayang banget acara webinarnya hari Sabtu, bentrok sama acara keluarga. But gw udah register ke sini, ngarep bisa ikutan di next webinarnya. Ditunggu sesi 2 nya yaaaa
    • Purwanto:
    • Eksplorasi tanpa kenal henti dari seorang Arahmaiani. Dan di tangan orang yang tepat, seni bisa dijadikan sebuah media untuk membawa dunia ke alam yang berbeda.
    • Bintang:
    • Kagum dengan banyak perubahan yang terjadi di Tibet. Sebuah pekerjaan luar biasa yang di lakukan oleh manusia yang tidak biasa.
    • Vani:
    • gua yakin banget kalau yang namanya seni itu bisa membawa hal hal positif ke muka bumi ini. jelas banget kalau ada ribuan manusia macam mba Arahmaiani, bikin dunia ini lebih merdu dan gempita ( berkat warna yang di hasilkan oleh seni)
    • Haris:
    • ini beneran free ya? wah jangan sampe gw ga ikutan
    • Wenny:
    • Ini Farid Rakun yang Ruang rupa ya? waaahhh , dasyaaatt nih yang ngumpulin orang2 ini dalam sebuah ruang diskusi.
    • Johan:
    • Habis webinar ini, akan ada kelanjutannya kan? harus banget dibikin PART 2 nya
    • Martha:
    • Webinar di Vibi.buzz selalu di nantikan. Pembahasan webinar kali ini temanya sangat menggigit. Semoga tanggal 10 , gak ada halangan dan bisa ikutan dari awal. Udah gw share juga ke temen2 untuk ikutan hadir.
    • Jonah:
    • pengen banget join, but tanggal 10 April lagi ada acara. Ini ada siaran ulangnya , gak ?
    • Peter:
    • ini mulai jam 10 tepat ya? atau bisa join before jam 10?
    • Gumilang:
    • asiiikkk! ada mba Avianti Armand.
      she's so cool!
    • Winnie:
    • Sudah jadi member vibi.buzz dari tahun lalu, dan sering ngikutin webinarnya. Banyak banget ilmu yang sudah gue dapat. Nah, kali ini jenis ilmunya agak beda... temanya menarik, pembicara nya pun luar biasa : seorang Arahmaiani. Sosoknya sederhana banget , gw suka. tipe nya gak neko neko dan ngomong nya langsung ke titik sasaran. tanggal 10 april , gw mesti dateng.
    • Lidya:
    • Webinarnya gak dibikin 2-3 hari berturut2 aja nih ? tiga jam mah bahas beginian kurang banget..
      Saran : harus di bikin next webinar lanjutannya dan jaraknya jangan terlalu lama dari yang seri awal
    • Tanzil:
    • Topik pembahasannya tentang 3 point yang sangat menggugah selera. Pengen banget ikutan dalam sesi diskusi dan sesi tanya jawabnya kalau di perkenankan.
    • Dewi:
    • before jam 10, bisa masuk duluan ke ruang webinar nya ? Boleh nanya- nanya secara live ke mba Arahmanianinya ?
    • Leon:
    • This will be an interesting Webinar! I hope one day, i can have the chance to meet her face to face. She's really a patriotic woman.
    • Maya:
    • mau nanya : ini kita dapat e-certificate juga gak? kuota webinarnya terbatas?
    • Ratu:
    • Gak sabaaaar tanggal 10 April ,gaeeess
    • Sijabat:
    • Sosok Arahamaiani, sangat unik, berbeda, karismatik, kreatif ,pintar, sangat memperhatikan tentang lingkungan& perempuan, punya intuisi yang kuat, out of the box, not only showing what she's capable of ..
      she's really one of a kind.
      GO! GO! GO!
    • Nindy:
    • Yang gue suka dari Mba Arahmaiani itu banyaaaaaak.. she is one of the most inspired woman in my life.
    • David:
    • waaaaahhh... webinar kali ini dengan mba Arahamaiani . bakal seru banget nih ! harus ikutan

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