Biennale Jogja XV 2019
Artist- or curator-run initiatives have been an integral part of art ecosystems worldwide. In Southeast Asia they play a vital role in providing spaces for artistic production and presentation, they allow for critical reflection, they nurture and connect communities, they engage in alternative forms of education and research, and they provide often formative experiences in terms of artistic and curatorial practice as well as in administration, communication and governance. Artist-run initiatives relate in a specific way to state institutions and infrastructures, often compensating a possible lack of professionalism, openness and provision of space for experiments and encounters with the unknown in state structures.
The emergence of artists/curators run spaces/initiatives in the South East Asian art scene has often been discussed as impacted by the lack of art related infrastructure in the region, especially during the first decade of their establishments. After that period, it seems that the conversations shifted to a discourse that connected to artists’ responses to social political contexts, reacting to the strong control from states and regimes, or the global situation of the art scene itself related to power relationship. Both factors have encouraged different generations of artists to create a specific art ecosystem that is different from the established western scenes.
© Biennale Jogja
In the last three decades, since the end of 1980s, artists and curators led initiatives in Southeast Asia have played an important role in developing art scenes and discourses, including their focus on knowledge production and distribution. During these years, external influences have changed, more institutions have been established, the political contexts in many of the countries also develop in various directions. How have those changes influenced the visions, paradigms and practice of those organizations? How has the landscape and the map changed, how do we find new directions and can navigate new cartographies? These issues and phenomena have been addressed internationally by various exhibitions/publications, among them Cities on the Move
(1996), Gwangju Biennale
(2002), or the New Museum Triennale book
(2013); it seems interesting to connect these perspectives with the framework of the local.
Biennale Jogja in partnership with the Goethe-Institute Indonesien initiates a number of conversations between practitioners and members of artist-led initiatives from the region across generations, centering around different local contexts and exploring how those initiatives have been shaping the development of contemporary art practices and discourses in Southeast Asia. After a number of internal workshops, participants will present their views in a public roundtable discussions on 22 October.