Limitless Cinema in Broken English

June 12, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 12:38 am

The information below is a news release from Conference of Birds Gallery:

Taring Padi: Never Ending Courage

Formed out of the mass mobilizations (“aksi”) that culminated in the 1998 ousting of Suharto’s decades-long dictatorship, Yogyakarta-based collective Taring Padi (translated literally: “Fangs of the Rice Plant”) has maintained an unfailing commitment to building a People-Orientated Art (Seni Kerakyatan) to forge that solidarity whose beginnings were eradicated in 1965 and exiled from Indonesia’s state histories in the years that followed. Strongly opposed to the kind of “art for art’s sake” mantra that so perfectly embodies the New Order ideal of the nation as a disengaged “floating mass,”(1) with each sector of society devoted to its own isolated and apolitical self-development, Taring Padi has executed projects that exist squarely within the common, public realm.

Since their peak in the 1990s, issue-oriented mass mobilizations have continued to occur throughout Indonesia, and yet these actions have failed to produce candidates within the electoral system who do not serve elite interests. Although no stranger to Indonesia’s history of uneven development, the IMF and other international bodies have even further compromised the country’s sovereignty in economic policymaking after 1997, introducing dozens of new agreements and memoranda that have been met with strong resistance by those who have been devastated by cuts in fuel subsidies or the elimination of protective tariffs on crop imports. Finally, a wider struggle has ensued over the history that was so categorically cut off in 1965 and obscured by complicit ‘66 Generation intellectuals in the employ of the state. Taring Padi’s collective focus has shifted accordingly with these changes in Indonesian social movements, and the group now grapples with localized issues of gender equality, biodiversity, labor rights, ethnic hatred, and electoral fraud, among many others. The form of these projects ranges from woodcut print posters and protest sculpture to self-published books and street actions. While indeed Indonesia’s grassroots “aksi” struggles remain fragmented in the face of local and international elites’ pervasive efforts to retain their power over the country’s resources, Taring Padi’s populist art practice offers to Indonesia’s communities the a common consciousness of oppression that is the a prerequisite to continuing a revolution of national and social liberation that was preemptively cut short half a century ago.(2)

(1) Murtopo, Ali “Some Basic Thoughts on 25 Years of Modernisation and Development” Jakarta : Yayasan Proklamasi, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1973

(2) Lane, Max “Unfinished Nation: Indonesia Before and After Suharto” New York: Verso 2008 pg. 267

Work Types:

@ Conference of Birds
131/18 Thanon PanSilom, Bangkok 10500
Documentary Video: “Taring Padi: Art, Activism, and Rock n Roll”
Collective Work: Banners, Woodcut Posters, Calendars
Individual Work: Drawings, Woodcut Prints, Sculptures
In Thailand: Work from 8/6/09 workshop @ Worldwell Garment Co. protest site

@ Worldwell Garment Co.Ltd.
14 Moo.7 Setthakit Rd.,Tambon Nadee, Amphoe Muang, Samutsakorn
Collective Work: Woodcut Prints, Shadow Puppets (done in collaboration with former workers of Worldwell Garment Co.)

Opening Party 10 June 2009 7pm
Show runs: 10 June 2009 – 24 July 2009
Gallery Hours: 12pm – 8pm every day
Conference of Birds
131/18 Thanon PanSilom, Bangkok 10500
Phone: 0849281152


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