Curating Performance Arts – Practice and Strategies
Presentation and discussion on Curators Academy 2018 Singapore.
Featuring: Akbar Yumni, Azizi Al Majid, Joned Suryatmoko, Nia Agustina, Rebecca Kezia, Riyadhus Shalihin
While an intensive discussion about curatorial concepts has already been underway in the visual arts since the 1990s, this discussion is still in its infancy in the performing arts. During the Spielart theatre festival (Munich, Germany) in 2015, a symposium entitled Show Me the World was held at which an international audience discussed curating in a globally networked world. The Curators Academy run in Singapore by TheatreWorks, the Goethe-Institut Singapore and the Arts Network Asia followed up on this, providing 20 up-and-coming curators from Southeast Asia with a platform upon which to share ideas and opinions with renowned theatre-makers from Germany and Asia. Which challenges face actors in the staged arts in Southeast Asia, and which conclusions can be drawn from this with respect to international discourse?
The discussion Curating performance arts – practice and strategies continues the discussion held at the Curators Academy and sheds light on the specific Indonesian context.
Akbar YumniAkbar Yumni’s presentation will focus on Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film/performance Fever Room. He wishes to explore how the relationship between film and performing arts is established and what could influence the performativity of cinema, especially in the digital era.
Akbar Yumni is a film and arts critic and a member of Forum Lenteng. He is one of the founders and the editor-in-chief of www.jurnalfootage.net. He studied at Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Driyarkara (Driyarkara School of Philosophy). He is also one of the curators and selectors of Arkipel (Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival) which started in 2013. He worked as a researcher at the Desantara Foundation in 2008 and has been working as a freelance researcher for Dewan Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Art Council) since 2014. He also served as a curator for the archive and dramaturgy exhibition in the Sundanese Theatre Group for Miss Tjitjih’s archive performance Backstage to Frontstage in 2017. Currently he is developing a project called The Lost Archive performance which is based on Bachtiar Siagian’s movie Turang.
Azizi Al Majid’s presentation will focus on speculating about collective participation in an artistic project. He will attempt to present his perspective on curating as a means of looking for common ground and of creating a context for an artistic work. Being a Bandung-based artist, Azizi will speak especially about his experiences in Bandung.
Azizi Al Majid
Azizi Al Majid was born in Palembang in 1994. He graduated with a BFA in Visual Art at Bandung Institute of Technology in 2017. He is active at Ilubiung, a group initiative that focuses on intervention projects, as well as working as an artist in Bandung. His role in Ilubiung was that of a collective curator for projects from 2015 until today. These include Ilubiung Project #2: Tonight You Belong to Me (2015), focusing on community arts in the village of Dago Pojok in Bandung and featuring several workshops and exhibitions in the local neighborhood; Bringing Home Project (2016), an intervention in an abandoned shuttle bus in Bandung through music, poetry and gathering activity; Lembaga Pendidikan Gunakarya (2017), an intervention in one of the Bandung public high schools that involved teaching contemporary art to students during school time, with at least five constituent meetings a month. He is interested in more deeply investigating two conceptual frameworks: complicating the art-site relationship and the effects of narrative iteration, and exploring the shifts in notions of “site-specific” work based on location, setting and environment with audience, context, and access as sites of engagement.
Joned Suryatmoko’s presentation will focus on his idea of connecting cities in Southeast Asian countries, though not as countries in the political context. He also aims no longer to view Jakarta or Java as the centre of the Indonesian arts map, but to widen our perspective to include different parts of Indonesia which are now more than thriving.
Currently Joned is interested in the border between theatre and performance, linearity and simultaneity, character and autobiography, and acting and authenticity. Taking this border as his starting point, he has continued expanding his interest by investigating how these performative means (such as theatre and performance) have since last year been used by citizens in the Southeast Asia region to articulate their political aspirations. He strongly believes that citizens have the ability to transform their own knowledge into aesthetic practices and art. He believes that this kind of citizen performance, especially in Indonesia, could be coloured by ascetic practice, which opens up the possibility to connect this subject to the traditional performative protest. He is the founder/ director of the Yogyakarta-based Gardanalla Theatre and the festival director of the Indonesia Dramatic Reading Festival (IDRF). At this festival Joned has actively curated international plays to be presented along with new Indonesian plays. He graduated from the International Relations Studies Department (Bachelor’s) and from the Media and Cultural Studies Department (Master’s) at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta Indonesia. Thanks to an Asian Cultural Council (ACC) fellowship, he was invited to attend the Martin E Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) as a visiting scholar from 2016 to 2017.
Nia AgustinaNia Agustina’s presentation will focus on her own exploration of the role of a curator or festival organizer. She would like to investigate how the power dynamic between artist and curator could be proportionally maintained.
Nia Augustina was born in Wonosobo, Central Java, Indonesia. She has a master’s degree in mathematics from Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta State University), Indonesia. She learned Indonesian traditional dances and Yogyakarta’s classical dances at a dance studio. From 2014 to 2015 she conducted research for her thesis on a mathematical learning model for the medium of dance. She was inspired by the work of William Forsythe. In 2014 Nia initiated the Paradance Festival, a small-scale dance festival held once every two months to give young choreographers the chance to present their dance works. In 2015 she was invited by the IDF (Indonesian Dance festival) to join its curatorial workshop. In 2016 she joined the IDF as one of its three young curators. She is now preparing the next edition of the IDF in November 2018.
Rebecca KeziaRebecca Kezia’s presentation will be based on her daily experience of working professionally for a privately run art institution. In her view, curating is an attempt to connect society with a presentation of discourse, idea or concept that is an art work.
Born and raised in Jakarta, Rebecca has been active in theatre since middle school. She decided to take Indonesia Studies at the University of Indonesia to focus on modern Indonesian literature, especially drama. During her studies she was also active in the production management of campus theatre groups and art events at the Jakarta Arts Council, and began freelancing in private art institutions. Besides managerial tasks, she also conducted research on contemporary performing arts, wrote scripts for several productions, and acted in an independent theatre group in Jakarta. She is now working as a programme assistant at Komunitas Salihara in Jakarta.
Riyadhus ShalihinRiyadhus Shalihin’s presentation will be based on the idea of examining two approaches: curating as in visual arts rooted in the museology tradition, and dramaturgy as in performance arts. He would like to develop this further and explore with us the meaning of “performativity” on the basis of examples of film screenings and performances that he attended during the Curators Academy in Singapore.
Born in Bandung, 1989, Riyadhus is a graduate of the Performing Arts Faculty at ISBI Bandung. He is pursuing his Magister of Curatorial Studies (Curatorship) at the FSRD (Faculty of Art and Design), ITB, Bandung. He also took the Extension Course Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy UNPAR, Bandung. He has an interest in studying and working in the field of fine arts, cinema and performing arts. Riyadhus’ work has been presented at several national and international exhibitions. He was one of the participants in the Jakarta Arts Council 2016 Curatorial Writing Workshop. He writes essays and is an art critic at Sarasvati Magazine.
Organized for the first time in Singapore from 24 to 28 January 2018, the Curators Academy placed the emphasis on knowledge transfer and the development of local contexts. The workshops were run by Stefan Hilterhaus, artistic director of the PACT Zollverein (Essen, Germany), Sermin Langhoff, director of the Maxim-Gorki-Theater (Berlin, Germany), Sigrid Gareis, anthropologist and freelance curator, and Ong Keng Sen, artistic director of TheatreWorks (Singapore). The seminars were accompanied by a programme of public showcases and events including the current Berlin Volksbühne production Fever Room by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Pusat Kebudayaan Jerman Jakarta
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Price: Free Admission | Reservation Not Required
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Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 9-15, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat