For its 16th exhibition, the Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton continues its regular exploration of emerging artistic scenes in distant countries with the presentation of Trans-Figurations - Indonesian Mythologies. Starting June 24th - October 23rd 2011, the Espace Culturel invites visitors to discover an energetic and effervescent generation of Indonesian artists.
Consisting of more than seventeen thousand islands and a population of two hundred and forty million inhabitants, Indonesia is the fourth most highly populated country in the world. Nowadays, it is a secular democracy in which all religious movements live side by side. At the centre of the island of Java is the city of Yogyakarta, a real “hive of artistic activity” marked by its ancient beliefs, its history and its geography, which are a continual source of inspiration for artists. There, at the foot of the Merapi Volcano (one of the most active in the world), lives the majority of the eleven artists whose work will be displayed. They have come to Paris to produce a new work or reconfigure specially selected artworks, showcased by Alain Batifoulier’s decisively contemporary scenography.
The Christian term “Transfiguration” seems to correspond to this desire for change, with Agung Kurniawan’s sculptures, which bring traditional shadow theatres back to life, and with Heri Dono’s contemporary angels. In the videos “War of Java” and “Pilgrims and Plagues”, Jompi Jompet evokes the spirits of the ancestors and transposes the traditional dances and processions into other spaces. Arie Dyanto’s “autofictions”, Bayu Widodo’s poetic and narrative drawings and Ariadhitya Parmuhendra’s “Christian” drawings question both the place of the artist and the very status of Indonesian society. Tintin Wulia’s installation/performance expresses both the randomness and the determinism of the notion of nationality in a country that has experienced several occupations and has built its identity based on the upheavals of its history. The humorous hybrid figures that illustrate Eko Nugroho’s embroideries and wall paintings along with Mella Jaarsma’s “Fire-eaters” installed in the window display on rue de Bassano become the new heroes of a make-believe contemporary mythology. The architect Eko Prawoto has - with great simplicity - built an imposing modernist temple with over 1,800 bamboo canes, while director and producer Garin Nugroho deploys a video presentation in several chapters, which revolves around a sculpture, the symbol of the protective Mother.
Like the works presented in the Trans-Figurations - Indonesian Mythologies exhibition, Java depicts the change in the continuity of an earth that unceasingly expresses itself, moving and groaning, in both the literal and figurative sense, expressive and animated, strong and fragile.
Artists: Heri Dono, Arie Dyanto, Mella Jaarsma, Jompi Jompet, Agung Kurniawan, Eko Nugroho, Garin Nugroho, Ariadyhitya Pramuhendra, Eko Prawoto, Bayu Widodo, Tintin Wulia
Exhibition curator: Hervé Mikaeloff
Exhibition set designers: Alain Batifoulier and Simon de Tovar
Bayu was featured in this article by Dazed Digital's ARTS & CULTURE section
Below: Images of three of Bayu's pieces from the exhibition