YOU MUST MAKE YOUR DEATH PUBLIC.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. A WORD ON CRISIS. FOREWORD. CONVERSATION: LOUWRIEN WIJERS & PHILIPP GUFLER. LOUWRIEN WIJERS & PHILIPP GUFLER THE (SINGULAR/SYMPTOMATIC) CASE OF DE APPEL. MINNA HENRIKSSON ESPLOROBJEKTOJ NICOLINE VAN HARSKAMP FROM JAVANESE’S MYTH TO BABOE IN THE NETHERLANDS. YASMINE SORAYA & BUYUNG RIDWAN TANJUNG CO-SPEAKING: A PROPOSITION. ANACHRONISM OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN MODERNISM: RADAN SALEH. LIAN LADIA BECOMING RABE: AWARD CEREMONY TO RABE PERPLEXUM, MUNICH 1986. PHILIPP GUFLER ART & SOCIETY. PLATFORM BK YOU MUST MAKE YOUR DEATH PUBLIC. CONTRIBUTOR BIOGRAPHIES. EXHIBITION FLOOR PLAN: WORK INFO. YOU MUST MAKE YOUR DEATH PUBLIC - PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES.
Nana Adusei-Poku | Amal Alhaag | Maximiliane Baumgartner | De Rotterdamse Beeldmaatschappij | Platform BK | Freek Boon | Ben d’Armagnac | Colin Djukic | Pascal Gielen | Philipp Gufler | Lian Ladia | Lothringer13_Florida | Maria Guggenbichler | Minna Henriksson | Nancy Hoffmann | Patricia Kaersenhout | Manjit Krishna Kaur | Simone Koller | Dennis Neumann | Rabe Perplexum | Rune Peitersen | Margaret Raspé | Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina | Michelle Schulkens | Yasmine Soraya | Buyung Ridwan Tanjung | Nicoline van Harskamp | Louwrien Wijers | Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa | Mara Zust.
Syennie Valeria Designed and printed in Jakarta, April 2016.
he title of this project is a reference to Squat Theatre’s play Andy Warhol’s Last Love as quoted in Chris Kraus’ Aliens & Anorexia.
Thanks and an appreciation of support are due to the Curatorial Programme of de Appel arts centre - Amsterdam. Heartfelt thanks especially to Saskia van der Kroef and Rieke Vos, our kind coordinators - and the entire core and support staff of de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam. Anonymous is an adjective and cannot be pluralised in English. We thank you all very much. Special thanks to the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, and Indonesian Migrant Workers Union in the Netherlands.
A Word On Crisis. I
n thinking about the idea of crisis - that is any event which leads to, an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society - we experience the dynamic of power relations, in which all the meanings, values and behaviours that a society produces and promotes through its cultural forms and practices will almost always privilege some groups at the expense of others. The crisis occurs when those who imagined that they had privilege lose the so called â€˜world making powerâ€™. We live in a constant state of crisis. Continuing discourses on ecological, economic and diverse social crises have distinguished the role of politics as the process of the management of future utopias, to the constant exercise of surviving the condition of crisis. This has created a recurring state of exclusion and exception. In this situation it is hard to understand the nature of the crisis, is it a tool, a symptom or a part of the agenda of power? In the current situation and context of the arts institution two distinct crises can be determined. The first one is the well established crisis of the bourgeois art institutions and their exploitative and exclusive structures. Art institutions emerged after French Revolution as forums for national self reflection, or at least this was the utopian promise related to them. They however failed to expand the agency of publics from different economic classes, ethnic backgrounds and gender identities but rather emerged as spaces for self-indulgent contemplation by the parochial bourgeois classes. Needless to say art institutions have been in a state of crisis from their genesis. These exclusive premises have been challenged in a variety of ways in the 20th Century but there are still obtrusive structures haunting western institutions as they struggle against more recent neoliberal trends within cultural politics.
The second crisis is seemingly more visible in the present time as a symptom of post welfare state societies. While the sophism of the welfare state collapses; upon the revelation that welfare measures were likely instituted in their political instance to dilute worker militancy without changing anything fundamental about the distribution of wealth and power - structures of the Western institutions of the 20th Century have remained largely intact and while they turn to neoliberal and managerial forums geared at expanding their audience into the broader public without understanding their subjectivities, they can no longer practically and affordably remain the domain of the middle classes. This crisis is built by the neoliberal system using the existing structures to gain broader publics without understanding their subjectivities and structural lack of agency. Audiences become quantities without consideration for their idiosyncrasies. In this respect art institutions rely very much on this neoliberal system for formats for sustainability which only serve to emphasise their potential precarity and their ideological flaws. Within the context of neoliberalism, their initial task of promoting democracy have been failures, becoming ever more obscure, more unreliable and more exclusive. So it is possible to locate these crises from different perspectives and on different grounds. Western modernity and its cultural institutions formed as mnemonic technologies emerged from crises and became the main devices for responding to crisis. The current neoliberalisation of the nation state has challenged this earlier ideological status and roles of artistic institutions. The Western bourgeois classes are losing their agency within art institutions and as well in a broader sense, within democratic institutions. It is important in addressing the first crisis to look at the history of art institutions and the legacy of their structures. The current urgency appears to tackle the second crisis which has a drastic effect on how art institutions think, act and define their position towards the public and the context. In this respect there occurs a historical shift from artworks which attempt to use the exhibition space a site to critique social inequalities, including those embodied in the institutions governing structures and its social roles, to those that emphasised the mystifications perpetuated by conventional display protocols within arts institutions.
Foreword: Notes From Exile. #1
I think the use of the word ‘crisis’ lately revealed anything in a I think the use of the word ‘crisis’ lately revealed anything in a dangerous condition that affects the lives of many people. Perhaps several years ago the term crisis has not been overly discussed, or it exists but has a different connotation and association of what is understood today. I also understand that the crisis had a strong association with the economic sphere, for example, the term monetary crisis become very familiar in the lives of people of Indonesia in the late 1990s after the economic crisis in Asia spread and up as well in Indonesia. The crisis is also ultimately be one of the triggers social movements to overthrow the dictatorship of General Suharto has been 32 years in office in Indonesia. Talking about crisis in a different context has its own challenges because in certain layers of society and places, they have a different urgency. For example, if the institutional crisis that occurred in de Appel at the moment seen as an important event for some people, this may not necessarily be as important to others. As an exclusive art institution with specific audiences, some parties from its circle responded very strong and reflect that this is a ‘crisis’ for them. In an attempt to understand the institutional crisis and use it as a main idea in this curatorial project, studying the history of the institutional crisis need to be done and relate it to the events that occur in contemporary society. Institutional crisis that occurred in de Appel became a critical point of departure in the beginning of the process to understand how this crisis has been linked to a phenomenon that occurs outside the art world, for instance. Therefore, in the process of widening the view angle and understanding of this crisis, we can see the focuses are somehow very organic. It is impossible to talk about all the crises in the world in an artistic intervention that simply prepared within 4 months. At least for me this is the first trial and one foothold for the future look at other possibilities, can be expansion or refinement of ideas on the crisis at various levels of society. If we read two understanding of the crisis in the initial concept, there are two crises in art institutions when it first emerged after the industrial revolution and the second crisis as a consequence of the neoliberal system that is currently dominant in our daily life. I am not going to repeat this discussion, but the emphasise this second crisis, which I think still very relevant to be discussed, and the manifestations of the crisis in this system could have been different and are in various fields: politic, economy and culture. The idea to direct the project in this way is an attempt not to depoliticise the circumstances by choosing a more personal subject of the participants of de Appel Curatorial Programme, as a victim of this so-called crisis. Relevancy is appearing in addressing these issues, one of them by trying to pull the understanding of this crisis to a wider context, to locate the notion of crisis with our eyes open. If that happens in de Appel as a crisis of institution, this does not mean to cover our eyes that there are other crises that may be in a direct contact with common life, such as the crisis of migrant workers, the crisis LGBT, gender equality crisis, and refugee crisis, who have a sense of urgency in all of those crises to find its way out of it. It is important not to try to solve the problem or to find a solution, rather to live in the crisis put it as a learning process for us as the initiator from anyone who dealing with this crisis using all of which can be used to share, the spaces, money, time, anything. Speaking is a way to communicate, and its using a language. At this level, some critical thinking came up with the fact that the language used in the art world is very different from the language used in common. I mean the language is not the language per se, but in the rhetoric level how they assembled and presented. It became one of the more exclusive barrier of this world, and increasingly justify the assumption that current dominant art world is led to the two main paths that either be pseudointellectual or artistic practices that are directed by the logic of the art market. At least I believe that the practice of art has the possibilities to emancipate and not just only for certain people. In this regard, one of the efforts is how we as the initiators of this project are able to create a shared space without hierarchy or direct involvements with the contributors. In the process, the direct involvement of the curator in several works and programs need to be done. Perhaps this is only possible in a small-scale project like this. We use ‘Co-speaking’ processes as a term to strengthen solidarity between the initiator and contributor, and people who are deal with this crises. We can also see it as an artistic strategy of representation if it is associated with the artistic production. This process is done with full awareness to avoid objectified the crisis or those who are in crisis itself, for the sake of an artistic event. We humbly invite artists, thinkers, writers, researchers, people and organisers to use de Appel arts centre as a place for sharing and strengthen solidarity among one to another. Every subject that comes here has its own context, has the experience,
and the urgency of its own. Therefore, this project is impossible without their presence. This is also another challenge, because in the end this project will most likely only be remembered as a final project of Curatorial Programme de Appel arts centre 2015/16. To avoid this, then came the idea to intervene in the form of publication that will be published as a main part of this project. Our criticism against exhibition catalogue format that shown artist profiles, images of the artworks and its, that could become an extension of the exhibition when its over. I believe that an art exhibition is an artistic moment, which is temporary and could be in a specific place. To eliminate altogether publication format as representation and documentation of this project in the future is not wholly good or bad. This is one attempt to remembering this project not only as a works of its curators and artists; rather as a social interaction and artistic moment in collaboration among the people. The same position between the publication, the exhibition and public programs are expected to enrich the discourse raised and addressed in the project as a whole. After so many processes to go through, I feel I have been working on a curatorial project with the right spirit and attitude, to evolve solidarity, critical thinking and equality. I think it is important to commit to do so since in mind, moreover in action.
Just before when there was a moment to formulate final words and feelings about You Must Make Your Death Public project, art critic and historian Sven Lütticken published text Other Criteria: Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Zachary Formwalt at his webpage what touches marginalisation of ”art practices such as Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s”. Lütticken is claiming that Stedelijk is through quitting of SMBA and emphasising artist like Saskia Noor van Imhoff and Magali Reus artists enforcing “object-based and collector-friendly practices”. He adds that ”Neo-formalism, at times with a hint of half-remembered institutional critique taken through a post-internet blender: the perfect cocktail to serve at exclusive openings.” This comment somehow gave words for mine experiences in Netherlands art field from September 2015 onwards. Everybody seems to been so much occupied with crisis of De Appel and criticising its board but no one seems to be discussing about emphases of bigger institutions such as Stedelijk Museum and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and what kind artistic values and broader societal values those include and exclude. but Lütticken’s claim that there seem to marginalisation of certain kind of non-material and political practises and rise of neoformalism feels useful starting point to understand situation where You Must Make Your Death Public have been produced. So question is if the location of crises is turned away from board (that without doubt has been competently unprofessional) then opens up horizons of crises which can have much more urgency then white middle class and bourgeois problems of the institution that has also contributed heavily on neo-formalist tendencies. De Appel has also promoted recently practices of Saskia Noor van Imhoff and Magali Reus. Put problem of these critical horizons are often that they challenge the whole existence of artistic institutions. So I would currently think that You Must Make Your Death Public as every other project engaging institution critically fails to go one step far enough or too far. It can not break away from durational, spatial and institutional limits of De Appel’s and curatorial program’s way of scheduling it’s program. So when we are speaking about co-speaking we failing to bring it into real practice. This I have sensed and knew from beginning. Cospeaking as a sustainable institutional and curatorial practice would would require completely different setting for operating in a contemporary art institution. So why even try? Here we come back to horizons. One of the real crises is that many people live this this world where there is now alternatives. Institutions just keep turning into neo-formalist managerial cash desks if there is no other proposals. Charles Esche said at one of the conversations with us about situation of De Appel and curatorial program that it is not our role to “save” institution. We should only focus to our program and getting useful knowledge and skills out if it. But how can you do that with out falling completely into institutional melancholy? Now two weeks before the opening of You Must Make Your Death Public feels like balancing between failing and proposing some kind of critical possibilities for curatorial and institutional practice in time of many institutional crises that are different to different subjectivities. Only sustainable proposal seems to be creating attempts to acknowledge this difference and try to facilitate possible solidarities, safe places and alliances between these differences.
In 2015 we, the proverbial we, embarked on what has come to be a journey of profound discovery. It was also in many ways the beginning of what we have come to see, rather humorously, as the performance of the antithetical - “collaborative curating”. Three curators walked into a bar. Exactly. Walking into a bar is painful. Our task, in the midst of flurry and chaos became clear. We needed to find a voice - singular, uncompromising and important - and a sincere way to express the urgencies of the moment. In this way we sought to find a language that was somewhat our own. A sensibility dominated by ruthless subjectivity, but that at the same time took on the challenge to look at who, or what, suffered for all the privilege we claimed by raising our voices in these ways. Here is a suggestion.You Must Make You Death Public is first and foremost a project that seeks to renegotiate the self, to expose the false bottom in the divisions contemporary arts culture has reproduced for decades. We approach our craft through autobiography, through memoir and most importantly through confession - thinking and working through our own expression to resolve the complexities of a culture of which we are a proud part, but which at the same time denies and oppresses us. In taking up this mission we found ourselves embroiled in an undertaking that was unwieldy and which resisted demarcation. In this way we encountered the challenge of receiving that which one desires. Sara Ahmed in her book The Promise of Happiness attempts to reconfigure this nervous condition. She writes: ‘We can consider how we are affected by the arrival of something in which we have placed our hopes. The boat that arrives might be empty, or it might be full. We do not know in advance of its arrival whether it is empty or full.’ We came into this unknowing and in it’s resolution we surely know less. For this reason we sought to form allegiances. We called on friends and foes and those whose being and practice offended us, to speak with us - against us, above us, for us in the hope that we might find ourselves enriched (or indeed diminished) by these interactions. At the very least we hoped to make noise in a culture overwhelmed by politesse and silence. We sought to be unruly. To use disorder as a way to challenge normative representations inside of the spaces we found ourselves in. In this respect there is no critical distance. We are not in any sense objective, and in fact we are the embodiment, the very objects in question. To this process we bring all our angst, but relieve ourselves, at the very least, of the untenable burden of objectifying those of whom - with whom - we speak. When all is said and done what we seek is meaning. Irit Rogoff writing in ‘Smuggling’ speaks of a post-critical possibility, an ‘embodied criticality’: “The notion of an ‘embodied criticality’ has much to do with my understanding of our shift away from critique and towards criticality, a shift that I would argue is essential for the actualisation of contemporary cultural practices. Briefly, this is a shift away from a model that says that the manifest of culture must yield up some latent values and intentions through endless processes of investigation and uncovering. Using literary and other texts, images and other forms of artistic practice, Critical Analysis attempts to turn the latent of hidden conditions and unacknowledged desires and power relations into a cultural manifest. Using the vast range of structuralist, post and post post-structuralist tools and models of analysis we have at our disposal, we have been able to unveil, unravel, expose and lay bare the hidden meanings of cultural circulation and the overt and covert interests that these serve. But there is a serious problem here, as there is an assumption that meaning is immanent, that it is always already there and precedes its uncovering.” In this way Rogoff suggests a move away from popular curatorial criticism. Rogoff privileges a grounding which extends in many ways beyond criticality to empathy. This is the essential embodiment with which we approach You Must Make Your Death Public. We invite you - we are invited by you. Claim this space, disrupt it, define it - as you will. Jussi Koitela, Renée Mboya, Asep Topan Participants of the Curatorial Programme 2015-16
Conversation: Louwrien Wijers & Philipp Gufler. Louwrien Wijers & Philipp Gufler Ben d’Armagnac in Landsmeer, 1965. Photo credit: Unknown Photographer, archive RKD, Nederlands instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis
I want to start with my first question in the context of the late ‘60s. You met Ben in March 1969 after he had been living in the commune of Dutch artist Anton Heyboer1. How important was the idea of the commune for you and Ben? It was of course the war that gave us the need to do things differently, so we formed a community together and it never broke. Even though situations changed, we always kept together. Ben d’Armagnac was working closely together with Gerrit Dekker when I joined in June 1969. I was the third one. Ben was already married to Johanna. There were in the commune of Anton Heyboer, his wives Maria, Lotti, the first partner of Ben, Marike and later on Joke and Petra.2 We wanted to form a different kind of community, find a different way of life. We tried to have a more honest way of living together. Heyboer’s point was to rule out jealousy. In December 1965 Ben left Heyboer’s commune. After Ben left the commune, Heyboer always called Ben “de gesjeesde graaf” [the failed duke].3 No other man was permitted to visit the Heyboer commune after Ben left. No males were allowed into the Heyboer compound. Does this have to do with a suppressed homosexuality Heyboer had, or? That is my feeling. You can easily read it like that. Were there any rumours about Heyboer’s homosexuality? No, never. That is also somehow the beauty. I think about Anton as a homosexual, but we never talked about it. Because he made this story about his four, later five wives and everyone believed he had a sex life. He was always in the news about it - he was the man with many girls, and everybody thought he had sex with all the girls. But he never had sex. Sex was more or less not done in the commune of Heyboer. And I was not the one to tell - why would I? No one thought this, but he simply had no sexual feelings for girls at all. Did you ever talk with Ben about Heyboer’s homosexuality? No never. Because the story with the four girls was bigger than the reality. It was very well performed. Lawrence Weiner had two girls too in 1969. It was quite common in the art world then. I was very happy about that idea. So when Ben asked me to be his second girl, I thought “how nice” because this made everything very different in this time. I was very enthusiastic. So I accepted. I moved in with him in Zeeland. It was this commune feeling we had in this time. But was his wife Johanna not jealous of you? Yes, she couldn’t deal with it. Was she jealous, maybe? Quite soon it was clear that it couldn’t work. So you broke up? No, we didn’t break up. The idea was that Johanna with their one year old daughter was living in one place, and I, without children, would live in another place. Ben found a lovely place for me. You can’t imagine how lovely it was. It was very near to their farm house in Zeeland. We lived in Zeeland up to September 1970. When I look at Ben on photographs, I was wondering how you saw his sensitivity also in terms of his sexuality and gender. What do you call it? Sensitivity? 1 Anton Heyboer (1924 - 2005) was making etchings and prints after his escape out of a mental hospital in 1953. He was an important influence for Ben d’Armagnac’s etchings in the 1960s. Heyboer exhibited at Documenta 2 in 1959 and Documenta 3 in 1964 and was well known for his commune with five females in Den Ilp. 2 Other members of the bigger community were Gerrit Dekker’s wife Isabelle van den Doel and Heyboer’s friend Viktor IV, who brought in Hannes van Es. Van Es later brought in his friends André van Elburg, Anneliese Wolf and Frida Kroese. 3 Ben was a Comte d’Armagnac d’Armagnac de Castanet. His father had passed away in 1945. 5 years old, Ben became the next count, in Dutch “Graaf d’Armagnac”.
In preparation for the talk with Louwrien Wijers on Ben d’Armagnac, which will take place on the 5th of May and my performance on the 2nd of June 2016 both in De Appel Arts Center, I met Louwrien Wijers in March at her studio in Ferwert, Friesland to talk about the work and life of performance artist Ben d’Armagnac (1940 - 1978). 1 Having lived for over 40 years in Amsterdam Louwrien moved to Friesland four years ago into an old farm house without running water and electricity, which was bought in 1972 by Ben d’Armagnac. I stayed there a couple of days, enjoying the long conversations with Louwrien, her energy and the food prepared by her collaborator Egon Hanfstingl, in an attempt to get to know Ben and Louwrien’s work and their time together better - with reference especially to Ben’s performance with flies, “Een Gebeuren” in de Appel in 1975. Before becoming an important figure of the European performance art scene in the 1970s, Ben d’Armagnac worked first on etchings, later together with Gerrit Dekker2 on a mix between Arte Povera, Land Art and Concept Art projects and up to 1972 on Installations. From 1973 on Ben made a lot of performances in the Netherlands and abroad, including the Paris Biennale in 1975, the Documenta 6 in 1977 and the Brooklyn Museum, New York in 1978. Louwrien was a close friend of Ben d’Armagnac and recorded some interviews with him at the time. Her monograph on his work was published in 1995. After his death she started to work on “Writing as Sculpture” 3 from 1978 till 1987. This led to her mental sculpture “Art meets Science and Spirituality in a changing Economy” in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in 1990. Louwrien has since continued her work as an artist.
1 I got to know Louwrien Wijers through the interview in Girls Like Us #7 – Body (2015), by Sara van der Heide before I was meeting her as a guest tutor in January 2016 at De Ateliers, Amsterdam, where I’m recently a participant. 2 Gerrit Dekker (1943) is now living in Arnheim. In 2005 he had the one-person show “About no below, no above, no sides” at BAK in Utrecht. 3 The book Writing as Sculpture includes talks with Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Robert Filliou, the Dalai Lama, Nam June Paik, scientists David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake, Francisco Varela, Fritjof Capra and Indian artist Harish Johari.
Ben d’Armagnac: performance at “European Performance Series” festival curated by Jan Brand, Brooklyn Museum, New York, 10.5.1978. Photo by Cathrien van Ommen
From his body gestures, he was not behaving very masculine. He was much more sensitive than other artists and showed his fragility. He seems to me very different, just from his body actions. I would like to see him as a queer figure. Does this also have something to do with Ben’s sexuality? To go to bed with Ben was the same as to go to bed with Heyboer for me as a girl. So he was not very, how can you call it, good [laughing]. I think, he needed to use sexuality to reach a different sensitivity with girls and boys. But he didn’t need the act so much. He wanted to play a bit. So, if I look at Ben and I think of all the boys that knew him from that time and all the girls that knew him too, I think it was the same for him. That is my feeling. He didn’t make a difference between boys and girls. But I think this sensual approach was his very best. He was soft spoken and elegant, always trying to make you happy. In 1973 Ben made his first live performance in front of an audience in the Goethe Institut/Provisorium. Was the grid also like a closed cube? A cage! This was more like a cage. The cage was built in a dark space and Ben lay in it completely bundled up in pieces of white cloth. You didn’t see his legs, arms or head anymore. He was one thing. He had ropes around his body that held organs in place, probably of cows. Then he tried to move, which comes down to slowly rolling inside the cage. He could hardly move. While rolling blood came out of the organs. Soon he was completely covered with blood and the floor of the cage was also besmeared with blood. It all became one bloody mass, you didn’t see any that there was a human inside. It looked like a primitive bundle that could hardly move. It was like a very degenerated thing, but it could still be in motion somehow. This was his first performance. In the earlier pieces, for example in his installations in 1972 in the Goethe Institut, he didn’t show himself. He lived in the space for two weeks before the opening and worked on what he wanted to show. That way it became a mentally charged space. When you entered, you felt it. The tension would fall on you like a tower. You couldn’t escape, so charged was the atmosphere inside.
So, he was aware of the Viennese Actionists 5 ? Yes, he was completely aware of them. He was completely aware of the Otto Mühl group and completely aware of what Vito Acconci did in New York and Joseph Beuys did in Germany. He was aware of all that. But after Wies Smals had taken him to visit Hermann Nitsch in Austria Ben took care that everything he did looked very different from the Viennese Actionists. He was very much against the way Hermann Nitsch was using bodies and blood. Ben was not influenced by Nitsch, Mühl or Schwarzkogler. Ben’s work is much more fragile. With Ben it is also much more about isolation, what I see in Ben’s work. Yes, that is true. Ben played an important part in the beginning years of De Appel. Beginning years meaning? Basically till the flight crash of Wies Smals in 1983. But when does it start for your feeling? Which year is for you the beginning? Probably already before 1975? Ah, that’s my first point. People say De Appel started in 1975.6 That is when De Appel received its first money from the state. But it started in 1972 with private money from Wies. When Wies began to ask for grants from the state, that is when curators and art historians think De Appel started. Not true, De Appel started earlier. Wies and Ad Petersen7 bought the warehouse “De Appel” on Brouwersgracht 196, built around 1650. It had six floors and Wies had the three lower floors. Wies started to work with Ben and Gerrit when she still had Galerie Seriaal in Amsterdam before De Appel. Ben’s first performance at De Appel was in June 1975. Which performance? Ah, your performance. My performance... [laughing]. The one in the glass cube, where he was closed in with 2000 flies and four bowls with honey and water. Yeah, this is right. He called it “an event”? ‘Een gebeuren’, absolutely. The word ‘performance’ was not yet in use. Ben called what he did ‘een gebeuren’, something that happens. It was still the purest time of this new type of art. Those years the issue always was how very much a visual artist’s appearance differed from a theatre appearance. In 1975 the word ‘performance art’ entered Europe from the US.
Yes, in his early performances I see a lot of pathos, drama. After finishing art school in 1963, he was living mainly in the countryside. Yes, most of the time he wasn’t living in the city. So, I was wondering how aware was Ben, about the artistic developments in this time. He had a bit this outsider life? How many connections did he have with other artistic movements outside of Amsterdam? Ben was never there in the countryside, he was always going to Amsterdam. Many artists had places outside. Later, from 1974 onward, Wies Smals 4 gave Ben a place to sleep in De Appel, where he could stay as long as he liked. Yes, it looks like he was outside, but outside in order to go somewhere when Amsterdam had filled him up. When he wanted to leave, he could go. 4 Wies Smals (1939 – 1983) was the founder and director of De Appel till 1983, when she died in a flight crash on her way home from Bern. First she worked in the library of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, in 1969 she started Galerie Seriaal for multiples and in 1972 she started De Appel.
Ben d’Armagnac: handwritten calculation for Ben’s performance to Wies Smals, Stichting De Appel, Amsterdam, 14.6.1975. Photo credit: archive RKD, Nederlands instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis 5 Viennese Actionists was a movement in in Vienna, which developed action art from 1960 – 1971. Its most known participants were Günter Brus, Otto Mühl, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. 6 See also: Marga van Mechelen: “De Appel 1975 - 1983 performanes, installations, projects”, 2006, De Appel Amsterdam” 7 Ad Peterson (1931) was from 1960 – 1990 a curator at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
In 1975 in De Appel Ben had only a small cut in his left forearm and didn’t use as much blood as before. That’s true, some small cuts. But Ben has always used his blood differently compared to the Viennese Actionists. He wanted to share it. With the flies, he wanted to offer them his blood. It is more like... Ah, like a “blutsfreundschaft” [Blood brothers]. That was Ben’s idea with blood, so it is opposite to Nitsch. For me the glass box Ben used in his performance is more like a minimal sculpture. In a way... He is inside and breaking out of it. Yeah, very nicely said. His performances were a really embodied way of suffering. He must have been annoyed by the flies. He wasn’t annoyed. Do you see him getting annoyed? He was saying afterwards: “…The flies were for me the symbol of the people, the world that I find sometimes quite complicated. For me it was more that, whatever happened - because the flies started indeed to irritate me - I was all the time trying to keep myself open. So it had more to do with that I kept myself going as usual. This is how I want to live. Nothing can stop me. Can you see what I mean? It had nothing to do with that I by scratching could make contact with the audience.” 8 The flies were all around him. The way he was pushing them away was very sweet. He didn’t hit them, he was pushing them away very slowly. Very respectfully. Perhaps he was annoyed, but he couldn’t react annoyed. He reacted very calmly, I felt.
In New York (vlnr.) Louwrien Wijers, Hans Eykelboon, Jan Brand and Ben d’Armagnac in New York, 1978, Photo by Cathrien van Ommen.
“I am so vulnerable, that there is something built around me.” And, “If I want to see you, I have to build something around me to see you.” It was like that. It wasn’t like showing off. But in narcissism, you project onto something, like a narcissistic transmission, your ego is not projected on yourself. I don’t mean narcissism in a medical sense, I mean it in an artistic way: projecting feelings and affects. The cocoon is for me the limitation in speaking with others. Ben was completely not a worldly person. And this you can see in the way he moved and dressed. He was not interested in worldly ideas at all, not interested in politics. Even the idea of narcissism I can’t see that with Ben. Ben is a different kind, in a different world. You hardly see these people. It’s hard to think about him in European terms like narcissism. I never see Ben as reaching out to the outside. He was not thinking about “out there”. He was thinking of “in here”. He is closing himself in, much more than thinking about the public. Make Your Death Public? No, this was not his feeling. His feeling was, let’s talk about death. Let’s just contemplate death. At the entrance of every graveyard we have the saying: “Remember we will die.” This was Ben’s feeling: “Remember death is around the corner. Death is very near. Let’s think about death.” Many performances were connected to thoughts about this, as was his performance in New York in 1978. So in 1978 you were together with Ben in New York. Before the performance in the Brooklyn Museum he was talking to you: “I am convinced that we have to work on something else, different from emotion. And, at this point it is again my voyage of discovery to find out what I should be doing. How I am going to deal with myself now and with this world.” 9- it seems like it changed after he stayed in New York for half a year? Yes he was finished with the kind of performances he did. He wanted to change. He wanted to go back to drawing. He wanted to move to Marseille in France to start a completely new way of life. He had many ideas – the performance was in May, the 10th of May 1978, and when he came back home to Amsterdam in June he was going in all directions. He was very confused. I saw Ben passing on the other side of the canal and it was like he didn’t know where he was going.
He was linking his experience in life a lot with his artistic practice. It was about destroying the boarder between life and art. Yes, this is what we were working on. This is all it was. It was not about aestheticising real life? No, not at all. It was about real life and what that is about. It is “Art = Life” or as John Cage said: “Art=Life=Work”. This is what it is about. It was all about pinpointing what is the quality of “Art” in “Life” and how is it “Work” for you? These are the three words. We were asking ourselves: how do you do that? We all, and also Ben, lived very aware. You wake up in the morning and check: “What am I thinking? What am I going to do today? What can I do that is useful with this day?” For others as well as for myself. So Ben tried to bring the last few months or weeks of his life that had just passed into a performance work. In his performance he wanted to go into the most subtle gestures possible, pay attention to subtle thoughts. He wanted to go away from the roughness we normally live in, and not use big movements and big gestures. It was a subtle approach. This is also what performance art was about. That is why the artist came out of his studio, because it was easy to make art in the studio, but then the step between the person outside and your work becomes so big. You’ll never see, if they understand what you were trying to say. So if you make it with your body, it might be a little bit more direct. But he is saying he was not interested in the reaction of the audience? No, he wasn’t interested in the reaction of the audience. It is more about giving the audience a really subtle idea of something. Doesn’t matter if they understand. He was not communicating with the audience.
Ben d’Armagnac: performance “Een gebeuren”, Stichting De Appel, Amsterdam, 14.6.1975. Photo by Oscar van Alphen / Nederlands Fotomuseum
But already before the performance in New York the doctor he consulted, said to him, “This is very dangerous to do, you might die.” But Ben said, “That doesn’t matter.” And indeed, when he stopped moving at the end of the performance it was such a shock for everybody. Everyone thought, “Oh my god, he is dying.” There were children standing in the back watching the performance. It must have made a big impression on them. It was very very shocking, especially for the Americans. The women around him in the audience were suddenly so excited. They immediately came with coats to warm him up and rescue him.
Ben d’Armagnac: performance “Een gebeuren”, Stichting De Appel, Amsterdam, 14.6.1975. Photo by Oscar van Alphen / Nederlands Fotomuseum
Ben d’Armagnac: performance “Een gebeuren”, Stichting De Appel, Amsterdam, 14.6.1975. Photo by Oscar van Alphen / Nederlands Fotomuseum
Only four months later after he came back from New York he died in Amsterdam. What was the exact place where he died on the 28th of September 1978 in the Brouwersgracht? Johanna d’Armagnac was living with meanwhile two children at Brouwersgracht 18. I found this place for them. Ben had his boat in front of them. I lived opposite at Herengracht 1. We could look across the water and see each other. The place where his body remained floating on the Herengracht water was in a curve opposite my house, where you can now see a mirror. The mirror reflects the water. It is like a monument for Ben. Ben was always thinking of water. Before he used the sound of water in an installation he did in New York at 1 10 Greene Street. Water was what he liked. Water poured on his heart in the Brooklyn performance. Water was all the time with Ben. You didn’t see his body in the water? No. Johanna came out to go shopping and there were already a lot of people standing around looking in the water. I was in Arnheim, where Ben was supposed to make his performance on death the next day. I was not in Amsterdam. I saw him after they brought him out. But I heard the story, from my neighbour who saw the body drifting past his house and my house. Antoine, my neighbour, told me all about it, it was an unforgettable moment for him. At nine o’clock in the morning the city of Amsterdam starts to move the water in the canals, and Ben’s body came up and made the journey from his boat, past Antoine and me, drifting under the Melkmeisjes bridge to the round corner, where he stayed moving on the water waves. So the performance was perfect. It can’t be more perfect. And so many people were watching. Everyone was leaning over the railings, looking at his body in the water. So the performance was made very successfully, you could say. Johanna immediately understood: “This is the performance he wanted to make”, she said. So you talk about his death like about a performance? Yes.
Is the glass box more functioning like a narcissistic cocoon? Ben didn’t need the protection zone, it wasn’t about narcissism, it was the exact opposite. It was about vulnerability. He meant,
But it was no suicide? No.
8 Interview “Making life come to life” with Ben d’Armagnag by Antje van Greavenitz, January 1978
9 “Ben d’Armagnac talks to Louwrien Wijers, Thuesday, the 2nd of May 1978” on behalf of the European Performance Series at the Brooklyn Museum in New York
Talk with Louwrien Wijers and Philipp Gufler, 12th of March 2016. Photo: Philipp Gufler
Was he drunk? He used to drink a lot. He liked Cognac and Armagnac, but most of the time he did not have enough money for it. So he was often drinking Vieux. What did he do the evening before? He was the whole day talking with Johanna about death and dying. What it is like. He phoned us in Arnhem and said he was still preparing his performance about dying and could he come a day later. Death was his subject. Most of the day he was with Johanna in Café Schumich around the corner from Brouwersgracht 18. It was his favorite place. The owners there loved him. Usually Ben came in at eleven in the morning for a drink. He was like their son for them. At a certain point in the evening Johanna went home. At ten to two the bar tender said they really had to close. They asked: “Ben, should we take you home?” Ben said: “No, that is not needed.” The people of Café Schumich waited outside, watching him, till Ben had gone around the corner. They saw him walking and thought everything was fine. But when Ben stepped onto his boat, he slipped and fell. I saw the mark on the boat the next day. His foot made a long slide, then his head hit the brim at the back of the boat. His face afterwards had a big dark blue line, slantwise over his forehead and between the eyes, over his nose. So it was not suicide, for sure? No, he fell. The line was a beautiful mark on his face. Just imagine you are an artist and you have to make a good picture. It could not be better. That is what was so impressive to me. It was so well done. It was really an injury, but at the same time it was just a line over his face, a broad dark blue line. It’s a perfect thing what he did. So I drove directly to Amsterdam. Around ten in the morning we had a phone call and heard that Ben had drowned. I went from Arnheim to Amsterdam and saw his body in the hospital. He was so fond of white tiles and wanted always white tiles in any space he could get. In the end in the hospital he had beautiful white tiles all around him and even the stone table he was lying on was with white tiles similar to the white tiles he was lying on during his performance in the Brooklyn Museum. So his body on the white tiles in his one day old new blue clothes – I wish I had made photographs, but the photograph is in my mind and it is very beautiful.
THE (SINGULAR/SYMPTOMATIC) CASE OF DE APPEL Minna Henriksson
Esplorobjektoj Nicoline van Harskamp You Must Make Your Death Public is a title inspired proximately on the working methodology of film maker Chris Kraus. It is about taking yourself as a case study, as your own case in point, being first and foremost your own most immediately available raw material and doing so without shame.
So it’s another compound, isn’t it? Filmmaker I don’t have in my dictionary. Can you say filmisto? I’d say regisoro. But a filmmaker is not the same as a director, right? Because as a filmmaker you also write, produce, all these things around it. Regisoro is more to do with like moving people around a set. Filmisto sounds to me like that would be the cameraman.
Okay. So we’ve got Vi Devas Fari Vian Morton Publika from before. But I don’t understand the proximately inspired here. What does that mean?
And the film doer? Just very descriptive, plain…
To be proximate is to be near to something.
Inspired close to. Inspired by…
Can you say filmulo? With the suffix -ul for a person with a certain quality?
No, I didn’t write inspired by but inspired on.
What’s the difference?
A film person. It’s a possible word but I can’t quite figure out what it means.
Proximate. Close in relationship. Immediate. If I translate it in Spanish it works in my mind.
Maybe a fan of film?
It works in your mind?
Filmokreisto Chris Kraus. That sounds good actually. If Chris Kraus is a woman we should use the -in suffix.
Proximida. Close to a proximity.
And how do you work in the inspired?
Okay. It is about taking yourself as a case study...
The same. It’s inspired by two things that are close to each other. The inspiration is the closeness. Inspired by an opportunity. Inspired by a proximity. Not by the thing itself.
Tiu estas manero…
We didn’t watch Chris Kraus’ films or things like that. You didn’t? No. Proximity. Next. Nearest. Immediately. Before. After. Adjective. There is the working methodology by Chris Kraus that is based on biography. So we’re inspired by that working methodology.
Ĝi estas manero... Maniero. The way or manner. So taking means understanding here. Uzado. Uzo? Ĝi estas maniero uzi… Yourself. Vi…
It’s an accumulation, yes. Well, there are two things we can do in Esperanto. My first suggestion was esplorobjekto, object of research. And the second one eksemplakazo, an exemplary case. But those are the same things. There are three things that are almost the same and you said all three of them. And if you want to have a translation that sort of has a similar flow as the English, then you’re going to have to find three things that sound natural in Esperanto. So that’s what this does. There are two things that are in the same semantic area. But they’re different. I understand that. But my question was: is it necessary? The accumulation? It gives a perhaps a poetic and open interpretation of what you mean. But if it doesn’t translate, what then? Then translation perhaps needs to be forced. Because then we’ve got the expanded semantics, which is perhaps a bit more poetic. In a way you’re saying: We don’t really know, but we know what we don’t really know, and we don’t want to give one option, because we’re gonna lose something, so we’re gonna give three options to imply that. So let’s translate the whole thing. If we use case the second time, shall we use object the first time? Yeah, we start with esplorobjekto and then we have eksempla kazo. And you have to make them accusative. Comma. Being first and foremost. Primeo? Unua? I am making this up. What does first and foremost mean? I think it can be paraphrased and that would be much easier to translate. Above all. Super. Before any. Primarily? What sounds natural to me is anta ŭ ĉio, before everything. Okay. Your own most immediately available raw material. Your own.
Because it’s also biographical?
Vin mem. It’s an object, so we say vin and then another word mem.
Yes. Could be. Like we’re taking ourselves as a primary source.
As a case study. You take yourself as a case study.
Own won’t fit in. Well, the way you would fit it in, but it doesn’t sound very natural to me, is with via propra.
Because you had this experience this year about the crisis in this institution and now you are making a show about crisis?
So as is a quality. So it’s kiam.
Isn’t there one word for most immediately available in Esperanto?
Could I paraphrase that as most easily available?
Vin mem kiel - a case study.
There must be a standard way of saying this but I’m not going to find it in this dictionary.
We’re going back to proximate?
We are making a show about ourselves. Which is why the working methodology is important, as opposed to the actual subject. Or product. Finding a way of working that incorporates biography and that will give you various results. And also it’s kind of proposed to some other invited contributors as a kind of working method. And that’s why you asked me to put a personal line in my artist bio? Yes.
It’s also not in my Dutch one. Studkazo. Esplorkaso. Hmm. How about studobjekto? Object of study? Esplorobjekto? An object of research?
So havi is to have, and havebla is available. A possibility to have. Havi. With the suffix -ebl. Haveable. What was this suffix for being quickly something or somewhere? That’s -ek. Ekhavebla! Suddenly haveable.
Okay, there are two things that don’t work for this sentence. I think that proximately is not an appropriate adjective to modify inspired, and on is the wrong preposition to go with inspired. So in two ways the words don’t fit.
That sounds like a scientific one.
I’m not unhappy with it. I do get proximately on, that that’s a problem. But to me inspired proximately, that works perfectly. Screw y’all.
But we use case later on as well, in case in point. Kazo.
So maybe Esperanto offers a solution here. So proksime is nabij. Isn’t there a suffix or prefix that indicates a nearness? There was one where you can approach something fast.
Yes. So are we happy to go with esplorobjekto?
Krudaĵo. Kruda means raw. Krudaĵo means raw material. With the -aĵ suffix. To make the substance. The raw substance. And make it accusative. Krudaĵon.
With object instead of case? It’s a bit more constrained, but…
And doing so without shame.
Esplorobjekto is transparent. Does it exist? Shall I look it up online?
So most is plej. And immediately is tuja. Plej tuja havebla. Raw material. That’s almost like one word.
We don’t find case.
Kaj fari tion…
You want a suffix or you want a prefix?
I have uĵo in the German book.
Without shame. Honto.
But that’s like a carrying case.
We need to use mal- prefix. Malhonto.
How does study relates to research in English? Like in Finnish it’s the same word. But I can find no research from Finnish to Esperanto.
It’s not the same. That means the opposite of something.
No, that one is about a sudden action. You need to write proksime al. Or the suffix -em, which is a propensity or tendency towards something?
In my dictionary it says esploro. Yeah. Esplorobjekto.
Sen honto, then? If you make it a compound you can say senhonta. An adjective. Senhonta is shameless in my dictionary. That’s something different.
Proksimeme. What would be the implication of that here?
But research is an activity, right? And in the sentence, the case study is a noun.
It won’t work here. You can use it on a verb, meaning tending to, or having a tendency to. So can we then stick it to inspired, perhaps?
But also research can be a noun: I made a research.
I don’t know if they’re really different though in Esperanto. What does it mean then, shameless?
You can’t. You don’t use it as a countable noun in English. You don’t say:a research. You say: a study.
Shameless: characterised by, or showing a lack of, shame; barefaced; brazen.
No, no, no. It’s not going to work. We need to write estas titolo inspirita proksime.
A research has shown.
That’s what I should look up: brazen.
No. You say: this is interesting research. Not: this is an interesting research.
Flagrant, blatant, barefaced, overt, brazen, brash, audacious, outrageous, undisguised, unconcealed, transparent, want some more?
Okay. Working methodology. It’s not a methodology that works but a way of working, no? God! Methode in Dutch is metodo. Methodiek is metodologio. It’s metodiko. Metodiko? But why is… Well, before you go too far, we need to put the working part in there. Labormetodiko. It should be a compound, just one word. The methodology of work. So labori is to work...
So in this sentence… In this case study you take yourself as an example. You research your own example as part of a wider interest. Here it says it’s a set of legal arguments. Right. So another option would be to just use ekzempla kazo, an exemplary case. But then the Esperanto version would be shorter because it wouldn’t also have a paraphrase of what it meant. Because in the English text you are saying the same thing twice. What is that word that they use as a court decision with...
And you cut the i off when you make a compound word?
Yeah. And you need to put la. Al la labormetodiko.
You are giving different interpretations and you get into the rhythm of it and that is the point of it. Because there is also a third one. It is about taking yourself as a case study, as your own case in point, being first and foremost your own most immediately available raw material.
Okay. Film maker. Filmo is a film.
Unrepentant. It’s senhonta for brazen here. So if you want to be on the safe side do it with two words. Sen honto. Okay what have we got? Vi Devas Fari Vian Morton Publika estas titolo inspirita proksime de la labormetodiko de la filmokreistino Chris Kraus. Ĝi estas maniero uzi vin mem kiel esplorbjekton, kiel ekzemplan kazon, esti antaŭ ĉio via popra plej tuja havebla krudaĵo kaj fari tion sen honto. with Leston Buell, Nora Barón, Luc Windaus, Britt van Groningen, Asep Topan, Renée Mboya, Jussi Koitela and Nicoline van Harskamp. Camera by Ivo van Stiphout. Sound by Thomas Myrmel. Thanks to the Sandberg Institute.
he history of baboe cannot be separated with myths of Javanese people in Indonesia. In the end of tenth century, India’s culture came into Indonesia and integrated into the culture of Javanese people. The myths of Javanese people came also from a puppeters tale of India called as Mahabharata which was then developed by original literary of Javanese people to become a baboe character. These Javanese people were well known as Punakawan. Prominent clown of “punakawan” or selfs consisting of Semar, Gareng, Petruk and Bagong which are puppet’s characters that actually does not appear in the original Mahabharata story from India. These figures were an original composition of the Javanese’s culture1. Some articles mentioned that the original puppet story from India recognized no clown figures. Punakawan are some figures created by the sunan / guardians of Islam in Java. These figures were made in such a way which came near to condition in diverse Java communities: heroes, religious people, artist, and funny people. The Islamic Guardian saw that the shadow puppet show was an effective medium to convey the spread of Islam mission. However, in the shadow puppet story was a lot of cargo Hinduism, animism and dynamism. To build a more communicative relationship with the audience in the show that this all-night
then they created characters that were able to accommodate the aspirations of the audience like cuteness that was not tied to the main story grip and the most important thing was how a religious mission delivered2. The term of punakawan came from the word of “pana” meaning “understanding” and “kawan” which means “friend”. The Punakawan was not just a servant group or a common follower, but they also understand what was happened to their employers3. The punakawan characters was portrayed in various forms of visual disability, ugly and loyalty follow wherever his master away. The existence of punakawan was the shelf; people were being messengers of the Pandavas knights. More broadly, the clown was often interpreted as the guardian of virtue characters, that is Pandavas. Philosophi call, that was interpreted that to achieve the degree of noble, benevolent then require a friend or companion in the form of behavior as the Punokawan 4. Even the involvement of Punokawan was described as a symbol of divine involvement who participated in the process of human life5. Javanese people has believed that the degree and the rank as a honored position in the social structure6. This belief has been transformed into a myth for generations in the Javanese people. In the myth was even explained how to achieve the degree, one of which is “ngenger”. The ngenger myth appeared in the shadow puppet story that has lived since the late tenth century in the land of Java. One of myths was a tale of King Damarwulan who do ngenger. Damarwulan originally just a village boy who became a stablemanat home of Mahapatih Logender. Due to good performance, he was told to fight against Patih Menakjingga. The success of this insurgency and got married with Queen Kencono Wungu made him the King 7. Another myth is “sumantringenger”. Tells the story of a man named Sumantri, innocent village youth, which devoted to the King Arjunasasrabahu, and loyalty tested by the king himself. Commanded him to seize the king’s bride and to move Sriwedari Park8. Because of loyalty, strength and determination, Sumantri finally managed to carry out their duties until he was appointed as the highest minister in the kingdom. The concept of ngenger in Javanese tradition is actually so broad as written below: “ ngenger “ means to be a servant or suwito nobility , nomadic laughter queen . “ ngenger “ is “ an educational institution “ in addition a pupil in traditional school. Someone who be a place to ngenger is always still relative, but sometimes also other people.” ngenger” is not easy , because you have to obey to your relative, and you should be able to pleasure them. Therefore, ngenger is a form to learn, to exercise and to train a soul9. 1 NN. “KisahPunokawan”. March 13, 2013. https://kisahpunokawan.wordpress. com/2013/03/13/kisah-punokawan/ (accessed March 29, 2016) 2 WahyuCakraningrat .“Punokawan”.https://wayang.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/ punokawan/#more-2530 (accessed March 29, 2016) 3 https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panakawan 4 SururiArumbani, “FilosofiPunakawan (Sahabat) Pandawa”. https://lailatulijtima. wordpress.com/2012/01/01/filosofi-punokawan-sahabat-pandawa/(accessed March 29, 2016) 5 WahyuCakraningrat .“Punokawan”.https://wayang.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/ punokawan/ (accessed March 29, 2016) 6 Sudadi.“MemburuPunggawaPrajalewatLakuNgenger”. Koran SuaraMerdeka, 14 Agustus 2006. http://suaramerdeka.com/v1/index.php/read/ kejawen/2006/08/14/47/Memburu-Punggawa-Praja-lewat-Laku-Ngenger (accessed March 29, 2016) 7 Soejarwo. “ngenger”. Koran Suara Merdeka, January 22, 2008. http://suaramerdeka. com/v1/index.php/read/kejawen/2008/01/22/282/Ngenger (accessed March 29, 2016) 8 Sindusastra, RadenNgabehi. Terj. Hadisutjipto, S.H. SumantriNgenger: Seri ArjunosasrabauJilid IV. Jakarta: DepartemenPendidikandanKebudayaan, 1978 9 Soejarwo wrote in Javanese language : “ngenger”
FROM JAVANESE’S MYTH TO BABOE IN THE NETHERLANDS. Yasmine Soraya and Buyung Ridwan Tanjung More narrowly, research ILO defines ngengeras follows: a term used for taking a child to his / her relatives or extended family living in a bigger city or taking a child to an unrelated family but who is committed to helping the child. In the older ‘ngenger’ tradition, children took on domestic work in return for the opportunity to continue studying and having all living expenses covered. In modern times, however, there is less taking care of the children, Including less attention to schooling, and the benefits seem more one-sided, favoring the Employing family10. A part of Javanese culture, characters of punakawan is continued in the tradition of Javanese royal palace or Keraton, especially in Solo and Yogyakarta Palaces well known as Abdi Dalem (or a courtier). In the sphere of Kraton Yogyakarta, the courtiers are divided into two groups; ie Abdi Dalem Punokawan and Abdi Dalem Kaprajan. Abdi Dalem Punakawan are they who have daily staple tasks in the neighborhood of the Palace, while the abdi Dalem kaprajan are courtiers who has a calling to serve, they usually come from employees of government agencies, either already retired or still working as an employee. The main task of the courtiers is to help all the housework of the king’s palace. Nevertheless the task is diverse depending on where he or she is placed. After passing through a tiered process for about four years, then getting “kekucah” or some sort of reward about fifteen thousand rupiah (or the equivalent of one euro) once per month (2015)11. The special feature of the courtiers of the Yogyakarta palace is an uniform “pranakan” imposed by them. Sincere attitude and behavior of the courtiers is expressly in Pranakan clothing. The uniform was created by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwana V (1820-1855) about 188 years ago. Pranakan is traditional Javanese cloth or “surjan“ with inherent dark blue color, with a pattern of three vertical lines and four lines have a meaning within. three and four lines has a significant meaning “Telupat” or “Kewuluminangka Perpat” meaning to be embraced in fraternity in one unified kingdom. The nature of the expected fraternity is brotherhood among courtiers and brotherhood with the Sultan their king12. The characteristic of punakawan/ngenger/abdi dalem is then also lush maintained outside the palace which is now referred to as “baboe” or “servant” or “domestic worker”. The baboe was serving families in the land of Java, not only to rich Indonesian Javanese but also to Dutch people who were coming to Indonesia as colony13. The culture of using help from baboe has then brought to the Netherlands in 16th century when the Dutch return to their country14. To assist them in taking care of their children, Dutch people brought a baboe to accompany them along the way on the ship from Indonesia to the Netherlands. Baboe who came along on the ship was called as sea baboe. After their arrival in the itutegesesuwitoutawadadiabdinepriyayi, narapraja, tawaratu. “ngenger” ikumujudake “lembagapendidikan” saliyanenyantrikingpadhepokan. singdi”ngenger”Iikusokisihsedulur, nangingterkadhangugowongliya. “ngenger” ikuoragampang, merga kudu manutmiturutkarokeluwarga sing di”ngenger’I, kudu bias gawe renaming penggalihe sing di”ngenger’I. mula “ngenger” ikumujudadkepasinaon, latianlanpenggemblenganjiwa. 10 International LabourOrganisation - International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour. Bunga-bunga di Atas Padas: FenomenaPekerjaRumahTanggaanak di Indonesia. Jakarta:KantorPerburuhan International, 2004 11 ReggaHendarto. “Butuh lima tahapanbagiabdidalemuntukbergajiRp 15 Ribu per bulan”.21 Mei 2015 https://www.brilio.net/news/butuh-lima-tahapan-bagi-abdidalem-untuk-bergaji-rp-15-ribu-per-bulan-abdi-dalem-150324k.html (accessed 29 March 29, 2016) 12 PitoyoSusanto, “Abdi dalem Karaton Ngayogyakarta.” January 6, 2011. http:// pitoyosusanto.blogspot.nl/2011/01/abdi-dalem-karaton-ngayogyakarta. html(accessed March 29, 2016) 13 Wiandani, Tiasni, Kisah Pekerja Rumah Tangga , Dari Masa colonial hingga Masa kini, http://www.konde.co/2016/03/kisah-pekerja-rumah-tangga-darijaman.html?m=1 (accessed March 29,2016) 14 Poeze, Harry A., Di Negeri Penjajah: Orang Indonesia di Negeri Belanda 16001950, 2nd edition, KPG and KITLV,2014.
Netherlands, baboe lives with their employer. Some of them can be survived in the Netherlands, some cannot face the cold weather and died or returned home to Indonesia and work routinely as sea baboe. Dutch people were not always welcoming the baboes because they did not want to have a burden of living cost of the baboes. That is the reason why there were a lot of baboes who were coming illegally to the Netherlands. Their employer did not register them to the local government. And at the end there were poor conditions experienced by baboes and Indonesian workers at that time. A lot of baboes were not protected by their employers. They had no place to live and food to eat and they must beg to Dutch government to be returned home to Indonesia. Looking at this situation, some of organisations have been established to give protection to baboes and Indonesian workers. If we read at first of this article, the beginning of the culture of Punakawan, ngenger and abdi dalem was very much influenced of Hinduism and Islamisch religion. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, some organizations which started to give protection to baboes were doing their activities to make people to be interested in Catholic/ Christian religion. For example, Vereeniging de Zendingzaak had a branch which established a place for Javanese in the Netherlands in 1899. 15 They helped baboes but also teached them to be Christian. However, this effort in giving protection to baboes based on religious reason got not so many interest. In 1902, there was a baboes who died because of exploitation she got from the employer. This case has brought so many intention and was on a newspaper called as Koloniaal Weekblad. 16 As a response, an organization, vereniging osst en west started their movement to give protection to baboes and Indonesian sea men. They crowded fund and established a restaurant ‘soedikampir’, so people have place to gather and learn to read etc. A lot of Indonesian people began to come to the Netherlands also as students and migrants. A lot of organizations were established as well as a home for baboes in the Hague. This home is established to welcome the baboes who come to the Netherlands and as a shelter if needed. A lot of baboes come and they were also getting married, having children etc at this home. It would be the only place to give protection to baboes until 1939 which an organization called Organisasi Kaum Ibu was established. Meanwhile the awareness of Human rights and labour rights were developed internationally, the Indonesian workers started to established Labour committee in the Netherlands to struggle of rights of baboes and seamen. Data and description on Indonesian workers has been written by Moewalladi in the magazine of ‘Soeara Roepi’in February 1940. The fact of baboe or which is called as domestic workers is still happening these times. A lot of Indonesian people come to the Netherlands and work as domestic workers. Most of them are coming legally as tourist of seamen and overstay to work in the Netherlands. Their condition is still not so different from what baboes experienced in 16th century. The existence and rights of domestic workers from Indonesia are not yet recognized by Dutch people. In 2011 an organization called Indonesian Migrant workers Union has established to give protection of rights to Indonesian workers. Most of their members are working as domestic workers. The struggle that they do is not only to Dutch government but also to Indonesian government because the real problems exist in Indonesia. Baboe or Indonesian domestic workers will always be existed since it has been a culture of Javanese people which has been also adopted by Dutch people. Of course the culture has been developed a lot. It was as a dedication given by punakawan or ngenger or abdi dalem to the king and nowadays the reason is developed ; not as dedication but more on economic situations and problems that force people to work and dedicated themselves as baboe/ domestic workers.
15 Poeze, Harry A., Ibid, pg.82. 16 Poeze, Harry A., Ibid, pg.85.
ejarah baboe tak lepas dari mitos orang Jawa di Indonesia. Pada akhir abad kesepuluh, budaya India datang ke Indonesia dan diintegrasikan ke dalam budaya masyarakat Jawa. Mitos orang Jawa juga datang dari dongeng boneka India yang disebut sebagai Mahabharata yang kemudian dikembangkan oleh asli sastra orang Jawa untuk menjadi karakter baboe, yang dikenal sebagai Punakawan. Badut menonjol dari “punakawan” terdiri dari Semar, Gareng, Petruk dan Bagong yang merupakan tokoh wayang ,yang sebenarnya tidak muncul dalam cerita Mahabharata asli dari India. Figur ini adalah komposisi asli dari budaya Jawa. Beberapa artikel menyebutkan bahwa cerita wayang asli dari India tidak mengakui adanya figur badut. Punakawan adalah beberapa tokoh yang diciptakan oleh sunan/wali Islam di Jawa. Figur ini dibuat sedemikian rupa disesuaikan dengan kondisi beragam komunitas Java: pahlawan, orang-orang beragama, seniman, dan orang-orang lucu. Wali Islam melihat bahwa pertunjukan wayang kulit merupakan media yang efektif untuk menyampaikan penyebaran dakwah Islam. Namun, dalam cerita wayang itu banyak unsur Hindu, animisme dan dinamisme. Untuk membangun hubungan yang lebih komunikatif dengan penonton di acara sepanjang malam ini, mereka menciptakan karakter yang mampu menampung aspirasi penonton seperti kelucuan yang tidak terikat dengan cerita pegangan utama dan yang paling penting adalah bagaimana misi agama disampaikan. Istilah punakawan berasal dari kata “pana” yang berarti “pemahaman” dan “kawan” yang berarti “teman.” Punakawan itu bukan hanya sekelompok hamba atau pengikut umum, tetapi mereka juga mengerti apa yang terjadi dengan majikan mereka. Karakter punakawan digambarkan dalam berbagai bentuk visual; kecacatan, jelek dan loyalitas mengikuti kemanapun tuannya pergi. Keberadaan punakawan adalah lapisan orang utusan dari Pandawa ksatria. Lebih luas, badut itu sering diartikan sebagai wali karakter kebajikan, yaitu Pandawa. panggilan filosofis, yang diartikan untuk mencapai derajat yang mulia, baik hati yang memerlukan teman atau pendamping dalam bentuk perilaku sebagai Punokawan. Bahkan keterlibatan Punokawan digambarkan sebagai simbol keterlibatan ilahi yang berpartisipasi dalam proses kehidupan manusia. Orang Jawa percaya akan gelar dan pangkat sebagai posisi terhormat dalam struktur sosial. Keyakinan ini telah berubah menjadi mitos bagi generasi masyarakat Jawa. Dalam mitos itu bahkan menjelaskan bagaimana mencapai tingkat, salah satunya adalah “ngenger.” Mitos ngenger muncul dalam cerita wayang yang telah hidup sejak akhir abad kesepuluh di tanah Jawa. Salah satu mitos adalah kisah Raja Damarwulan yang melakukan ngenger. Damarwulan awalnya hanya seorang anak desa yang menjadi penjaga rumah dari Mahapatih Logender. Karena kinerja yang baik, ia diberitahu untuk melawan Patih Menakjingga.
Keberhasilan atas perlawannan ini membuatnya dapat menikahi Ratu Kencono Wungu dan membuatnya menjadi Raja. Mitos lain adalah “sumantringenger,” berceritakan tentang seorang pria bernama Sumantri, pemuda desa yang polos, yang mengabdi kepada Raja Arjunasasrabahu, dan loyalitas diuji oleh raja sendiri. Raja memerintahkannya untuk merebut pengantin raja dan untuk memindahkan Taman Sriwedari. Karena kesetiaan, kekuatan dan tekad, Sumantri akhirnya berhasil menjalankan tugasnya sampai dia diangkat sebagai menteri tertinggi di kerajaan. Konsep ngenger dalam tradisi Jawa sebenarnya begitu luas seperti yang tertulis di bawah ini: “Ngenger” artinya menjadi seorang hamba atas bangsawan Suwito, ratu nomadic. “Ngenger” adalah “sebuah lembaga pendidikan” di samping seorang murid di sekolah tradisional. Seseorang yang menjadi tempat untuk ngenger selalu masih merupakan keluarga, tapi kadang-kadang juga orang lain. “Ngenger” tidak mudah, karena Anda harus mematuhi keluarga Anda, dan Anda harus dapat menyenangkan mereka. Oleh karena itu, ngenger adalah suatu bentuk belajar, berolahraga dan melatih jiwa. Lebih sempit, penelitian ILO (International Labour Ogranization) mendefinisikan ngengeras berikut: Istilah yang digunakan untuk mengambil anak untuk kerabatnya atau keluarga yang tinggal di kota besar atau mengambil anak untuk keluarga yang tidak berhubungan, tetapi yang berkomitmen untuk membantu anak. Dalam tradisi tua ‘ngenger’, anak-anak mengambil pekerjaan rumah tangga sebagai imbalan atas kesempatan untuk terus belajar dan memiliki biaya hidup. Di zaman modern, bagaimanapun, kurang mengurus anak-anak, termasuk kurang memperhatikan
DARI MITOS JAWA HINGGA MENJADI BABOE DI BELANDA. Buyung Ridwan Tanjung dan Yasmine Soraya pendidikan, dan manfaat tampak lebih pada satu sisi, mendukung keluarga yang mempekerjakan. Sebuah bagian dari budaya Jawa, karakter punakawan dilanjutkan dalam tradisi istana kerajaan Jawa atau Keraton, terutama di Solo dan Istana Yogyakarta dikenal sebagai Abdi Dalem (punggawa). Dalam lingkup Kraton Yogyakarta, abdi dalem dibagi menjadi dua kelompok; yaitu Abdi Dalem Punokawan dan Abdi Dalem Kaprajan. Abdi Dalem Punakawan adalah mereka yang memiliki tugas pokok sehari-hari di lingkungan Istana, sedangkan abdi Dalem kaprajan adalah yang memiliki panggilan untuk melayani, mereka biasanya datang dari karyawan instansi pemerintah, baik yang sudah pensiun atau masih bekerja sebagai karyawan. Tugas utama dari istana adalah untuk membantu semua pekerjaan rumah tangga istana raja. Namun demikian tugas beragam tergantung di mana ia ditempatkan. Setelah melewati proses berjenjang selama sekitar empat tahun, kemudian mendapatkan “kekucah” atau semacam penghargaan sekitar lima belas ribu rupiah (atau setara dengan satu euro) sekali per bulan (2015). Fitur khusus dari abdi dalem keraton Yogyakarta adalah seragam “pranakan” yang dikenakan oleh mereka. Sikap tulus dan perilaku abdi dalem adalah tegas dalam pakaian Pranakan. Seragam diciptakan oleh Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwana V (1820-1855) sekitar 188 tahun yang lalu. Pranakan adalah kain tradisional Jawa atau “surjan” dengan warna biru gelap yang melekat, dengan pola tiga garis vertikal dan empat baris memiliki makna dalam. Tiga dan empat baris memiliki arti
yang signifikan “Telupat” atau “Kewuluminangka Perpat” yang berarti untuk dipeluk dalam persaudaraan dalam satu kerajaan bersatu. Sifat persaudaraan yang diharapkan adalah persaudaraan antara istana dan persaudaraan dengan Sultan raja mereka. Karakteristik punakawan/ngenger/abdi dalem kemudian dipertahankan juga luar istana yang sekarang disebut sebagai “baboe” atau “hamba” atau “pekerja rumah tangga.” Baboe itu melayani keluarga di tanah Jawa, tidak hanya untuk orang Jawa Indonesia yang kaya tetapi juga untuk orang-orang Belanda yang datang ke Indonesia sebagai koloni. Budaya menggunakan bantuan dari baboe ini kemudian dibawa ke Belanda pada abad ke-16 ketika orang-orang Belanda kembali ke negara mereka. Untuk membantu mereka dalam merawat anak-anak, orang-orang Belanda membawa baboe untuk menemani mereka sepanjang jalan di kapal dari Indonesia ke Belanda. Baboe yang bekerja di kapal disebut sebagai baboe laut. Setelah kedatangan mereka di Belanda, baboe tinggal dengan majikan mereka. Beberapa dari mereka dapat bertahan di Belanda, beberapa tidak bisa menghadapi cuaca dingin dan mati atau pulang ke Indonesia dan bekerja secara rutin sebagai baboe laut. Orang Belanda tidak selalu menyambut baboes karena mereka tidak ingin memiliki beban biaya hidup baboe. Itulah alasan mengapa ada banyak baboe yang datang secara ilegal ke Belanda. Majikan mereka tidak mendaftarkan mereka ke pemerintah daerah, dan pada akhirnya mereka mengalami kondisi buruk pada waktu itu. Banyak baboe tidak dilindungi oleh majikan mereka. Mereka tidak punya tempat tinggal dan makanan dan mereka harus mengemis kepada pemerintah Belanda untuk kembali pulang ke Indonesia. Melihat situasi ini, beberapa organisasi telah dibentuk untuk memberikan perlindungan kepada baboe dan pekerja Indonesia. Jika kita membaca pada awal artikel ini, awal budaya Punakawan, ngenger dan abdi dalem sangat dipengaruhi agama Hindu dan agama Islam. Sementara itu, di Belanda, beberapa organisasi yang mulai memberikan perlindungan kepada baboe melakukan kegiatan mereka untuk membuat orang tertarik pada agama Katolik/Kristen. Misalnya, Vereeniging de Zendingzaak memiliki cabang yang didirikan untuk orang Jawa di Belanda pada tahun
1899. Mereka membantu baboe dan mengajarkan mereka untuk menjadi Kristen. Namun, upaya dalam memberikan perlindungan kepada baboes berdasarkan alasan agama ini tidak mendapat begitu banyak respon. Pada tahun 1902, ada baboes yang meninggal karena eksploitasi yang ia dapatkan dari majikan. Kasus ini telah membawa begitu banyak respon termasuk di surat kabar Koloniaal Weekblad. Sebagai respon, organisasi, Vereniging oost en west memulai gerakan mereka untuk memberikan perlindungan kepada baboe dan pelaut Indonesia. Mereka menggalang dana dan mendirikan sebuah restoran ‘soedikampir,’ sehingga orang memiliki tempat untuk berkumpul dan belajar membaca, dll. Banyak orang Indonesia mulai datang ke Belanda juga sebagai mahasiswa dan pendatang. Banyak organisasi yang didirikan termasuk rumah untuk babos di Den Haag. Rumah ini didirikan untuk menyambut baboe yang datang ke Belanda dan sebagai tempat berlindung jika diperlukan. Banyak baboe datang dan mereka juga menikah, memiliki anak dll di rumah ini. Ini menjadi satu-satunya tempat untuk memberikan perlindungan kepada baboe sampai tahun 1939 dimana ada organisasi yang disebut Organisasi Kaum Ibu. Sementara kesadaran hak asasi manusia dan hak-hak buruh berkembang secara internasional, para pekerja Indonesia pun memulai mendirikan komite Buruh di Belanda untuk memperjuangkan hak baboe dan pelaut. Data dan penjelasan mengenai tenaga kerja Indonesia ini ditulis oleh Moewalladi di majalah ‘Soeara Roepi’in Februari 1940. Fakta dari baboe atau yang disebut sebagai pekerja rumah tangga ini masih banyak terjadi. Banyak orang Indonesia datang ke Belanda dan bekerja sebagai pekerja rumah tangga. Kebanyakan dari mereka datang secara legal sebagai turis dari pelaut dan tinggal melebihi batas waktu untuk bekerja di Belanda. Kondisi mereka masih tidak begitu berbeda dari apa yang baboe alami pada abad ke-16. Keberadaan dan hakhak pekerja rumah tangga dari Indonesia belum diakui oleh orang-orang Belanda. Pada tahun 2011 sebuah organisasi yang disebut Serikat Pekerja Migran Indonesia telah didirikan untuk memberikan perlindungan hak-hak pekerja Indonesia. Sebagian besar anggota mereka bekerja sebagai pekerja rumah tangga. Perjuangan yang mereka lakukan tidak hanya untuk pemerintah Belanda tetapi juga kepada pemerintah Indonesia karena masalah nyata ada di Indonesia. Baboe atau pekerja rumah tangga Indonesia akan selalu ada karena telah menjadi budaya orang Jawa yang telah juga diadopsi oleh orang-orang Belanda. Tentu saja budaya telah berkembang banyak. Awalnya sebagai dedikasi yang diberikan oleh punakawan atau ngenger atau abdi dalem untuk raja dan saat ini berkembang bukan sebagai dedikasi tetapi lebih pada situasi masalah ekonomi yang memaksa orang untuk bekerja dan mengabdikan
A Proposition. One
of the key propositions of the project You Must Make Your Death Public, is in relation to the idea of inviting individuals and communities into de Appel, as co-speakers and co-users of the space. The activities of the project are not targeted towards a certain audience or towards certain groups of people but are focussed on trying to establish co-speaking processes with existing communities and people concerned with, and in conversation about, contemporary conditions of crises. The crisis of contemporary art institutions and the conditions in which they operate can be understood as an extension of the crisis of the European middle class and Western bourgeois modernity. Institutions are no longer safe havens for the autonomous development of the professional interests and the identity of the European middle class. It would not be an unreasonable claim that at this time, more and more, the bourgeois middle class is disappearing in the face of a global post-Fordist neoliberal regime. Nonetheless, a lack of material and symbolic agency and its affects and emotional consequences are not a new state of being for many so called marginal groups of people. Co-speaking in these institutional conditions means acknowledging that certain marginalised groups have never had agency within institutions like De Appel Arts Centre. Cospeaking is not an attempt at giving agency, but rather to explore distinct subjectivities and examine how communities define themselves in respect to the institutions they are pitted against. Co-speaking is the process of acknowledging that there are common emotional and affectual urgencies where solidarities can be built, all the while recognising the material and historical differences of how crises manifest and how they are lived through.
Anachronism of Southeast Asian Modernism: Raden Saleh LIAN LADIA
Raden Saleh in Indonesia, 1872. Collection Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen, Troppenmuseum, Amsterdam. Coll.no. TM-60005115
am not at all disregarding previous research of the Southeast Asian modern, merely continuing the “rehistoricization process “1 of my colleagues in Southeast Asia, in deconstructing frameworks of understanding linear histories, and presenting shifts or trajectories for a parallel discussion. In this paper, I will tease on the idea not on how we see institutions, but rather, how institutions teach us to see. Keya Ganguly talks about the conjunction of temporality and postcolonial critique and exposes a problem. Most of the time, the “postcolonial” is periodised, situating it in epochal terms relative to western modernity projects. As such the nominal and categorical concepts are emphasised, rather than conceptual and epistemological issues2. When does the artwork enter history? The foundations from which the exhibitions of these artists are built, makes us rethink what both an artwork and an exhibition are. In a 2010 symposium in Utrecht called “Former West”, Simon Sheikh ponders, “What does it mean to shift attention from objects to exhibitions? What can the history of exhibitions tell us about art? What can they tell us about history? How has it been written, read, re-written, re-read? I will begin by telling a speculation. In the history of art, the story of romantic painter and artist Raden Saleh is such: he was born 200 years ago, shortly prior the Dutch East Indies had been formed. Over the last 100 years he built up a huge body of work which is now within the care of the Rijksmuseum, the Troppen Museum in the Netherlands, and paintings in the houses of private collectors in the Netherlands, Germany and Indonesia, some auctioned in big auction houses in Borobodur, Sotheby’s and Christy’s Southeast Asia. Very recently, German art historian and curator Werner Kraus wrote his biography and mounted an exhibition instituting Raden Saleh as the Beginning of Modern Indonesian Painting 3. The show, which has closed in Indonesia in 2012 was the first time that the Indonesian public saw his oeuvre 4. The exhibition featured some 40 paintings from public and private collections in Indonesia. It attracted over 10,000 visitors, making it one of the most popular art exhibitions in the country 5. Indonesian art historian Farah Wardani adds that it has become a status symbol for private collectors to own a painting by Saleh. One example of his popularity is that the painting, “Last Resort,” depicting a hunting scene that he painted in Dresden in 1842, was sold off at an auction to an Indonesian buyer last year for 1.6 million euros6.
1 Largely referencing to the historical curatorial inquiry of Asian-American abstract painter Carlos Villa when he organized Rehistoricizing Abstract Expressionism in the Bay Area Symposium in June 2010 at the San Francisco Art Insitute. 2 Lazarus, Neil, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. CrossRef. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. 3 Kraus, Werner. Raden Saleh: The Beginning of Modern Indonesian Painting (Indonesia: Goethe Institut, 2012). 4 Monika, Griebeler, Indonesian artist is finally honored in his homeland Deutsche Welle, June 2012, http://www.dw.com/en/indonesian-artist-is-finally-honored-in-his-homeland/a-16038975. 5 Ibid 6 Ibid
Saleh was born into a Javanese family of Arab descent in 1811 and went to Europe to study art at the age of 18. He spent more than 20 years in Europe, living in Amsterdam, Paris and Dresden. His paintings corresponded with nineteenth-century romanticism which was popular in Europe at the time. Raden Saleh teachers included Belgian artist A.J. Payen, Cornelius Kruseman and Andreas Shilfhout in Holland and the romantic school at the Hague. In Paris, Saleh met Horace Vernet and was inspired by Eugene Delacroix. While in Germany he studied under painters of the Romantic School in Dresden7. He was poor and not respected in Netherlands but became a “prince from the east” in Dresden, Germany living in palace circles meeting monarchs connected to King Leopold of Belgium and meeting Queen Victoria herself. He presented himself as a young gentlemen with manners of a young cosmopolite, within the petty bourgeois being inducted in freemasonry, and fraternising with Franz List, Baudeliere and Hans Christian Anderson8. He felt most comfortable in Germany, where he was welcomed with open arms. “He was received at the royal court and invited to all the salons,” explains Werner Kraus. “In the area around Dresden he was known as the ‘black prince’. He was very popular and his works of art sold at very high prices.” Australian historian John Clark described his reputation not based on artistic exhibition in Indonesia but based on his social repute through his European contemporaries. Southeast Asian Art Historian Patrick Flores mentioned that Saleh invoked the postcolonial privilege which alters a colonial scheme and therefore re-inscribed the end of colonialism itself - belonging within the vexed project of enlightenment9. He was also presented by John Clark in a symposium in ZKM Germany, negating Jean Hubert Marten’s Magicien de La Terre’s claims of globalising the contemporary landscape in 1989-because as early as 1834, he was presented in the Dutch Salon (exhibition of living Masters and in the Paris Salon in 1847). Japanese artists also participated in the French salon in 1880’s, and Filipino Artist Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo also received a medals of honour in the Madrid exposition of 1884 10. In the mid-nineteenth century, Raden Saleh returned to Indonesia because he was homesick. “He had a great project when he came back,” Kraus explains. “He wanted to be respected in colonial Indonesia just as he had been in Europe. “However, him and his trans-cultural lifestyle were rejected by the colonial masters in Indonesia. In 1869, he was even arrested and accused of leading a farmers’ rebellion. “ Although he was quickly vindicated, he was unable to cope with the shame and the lack of acceptance. In his twilight years he felt torn, tormented and alienated because the untranslatability of modernity had dispirited his ideals. Saleh, who came back to his homeland in 1850, felt he was lost between Europe and Indonesia and “died an almost petrified and embittered
7 Kraus (see footnote 3) 8 Kraus (see footnote 3) 9 Monika, Griebeler, Indonesian artist is finally honored in his homeland Deutsche Welle, June 2012, http://www.dw.com/en/indonesian-artist-is-finally-honored-in-his-homeland/a-16038975. 10 John Clark, Canon-making and curating in recent Asian Art , Journal of Fine Arts (Bangkok: Silpakorn University), vol.2, no.2, 2015, 33-93.
Friedrich Carl Albert Schreuel, Portrait of Raden Saleh, 1840.
man, who had not found his place neither within the native Javanese nor within the Dutch colonial society.” 11 He was Javanese when he came to Europe and German when he returned to Indonesia. In the end the “two poles” became a big detriment. Bringing this discussion to the present, I consulted a curator from Ruangrupa12, Jakarta who counters this claim of modernity. Asep Topan one of the collective’s members mentions that indeed Raden Saleh may be the first artist from Dutch East Indies to make paintings in the Western method within the style of romanticism, and have strong connection with European artists in his era. But he cannot articulate an Indonesian modern art discourse because he did not strongly speak about the Indonesian context. He mentions an example of Indonesian modern art which is the 1930’s revolution from colonialism and rise of the nationalist issue in the 1940’s, exemplified by Sudjojono and Persagi group13. Philippine art historian and university professor Flaudette Datuin defines modernity in Southeast Asia as emancipation, expansion - with the knowledge of external world, perfecting that language and poignant in reflexivity. In the Philippino context of modernity, it is not derivative but rather focuses on dialectics, paradox, tensions, intricate historical, social and cultural moments14. It seems parallel modernity in Southeast Asia within the realm of instituting, results in not so much as a continuation of the linear narrative, but a transfer of its definition, resulting in a trajectory. Australian historian John Clarke talks about multi-vocal modernities - which are neither extensions or reactions, but parallel practices. The postcolony, the disruption of empire, works which embody revolutions, liberations, movements, and crossroads. Yet paradoxically, Clarke also identified the museum of modern art in New York an important node in the dissemination of knowledge and master narrative. The MoMA collection with its inherent suppositions about what modern and contemporary art might be, has been built up since the late 1920’s. He mentions, “Undeniably canons require exclusion as a necessary condition, whatever interests of collectors which drive them.”15 Globalisation has introduced a kind of accessible contemporaneity to us, and placed us within it. which is not taken away but rendered obsolete the established ways of knowing the historical. Gayatari Spivak mentions that we cannot undo 500 years of cognitive damage in 50 years, as we are trained to agree with the ruling class knowledge has changed since the pre-Socratices. As we are thinking and valorising, we have to remember that languages make meanings for people.16 No wonder that Noam Chomsky, as a social critic and linguist mentions that the study of the formal properties of language reveals something of the nature of man in a negative way. 17 It underscores with great clarity the limits of our understanding. The essential faculties of the formal grammatical structure of language that we know is inept in constructing principled explanations for a variety of phenomena.
11 James, Jamie, Rediscovering Java’s Prince Raden Saleh Jakarta Globe, July 2013, http://jakartaglobe. beritasatu.com/features/rediscovering-javas-prince/ 12 ruangrupa is one of the oldest artist-run spaces in Southeast Asia who has also founded an important media festival in the region called Ok Video. 13 S. Sudjojono is respected modern Indonesian painting. When he was 24 years of age he organised a group of Indonesian artists into a union. They became known as Persagi and an artistic renaissance to Indonesia. When the revolutionary war against the Dutch took place, Sudjojono said that he used his brush as a weapon and became an active leader in the independence struggle. In 1949 he painted his huge and impressive work “The Hour of the Guerilla.” 14 Flaudette May Datuin, Imaging/Restaging Modernity: Philippine Modernism in An/Other Light, (Philippines, U.P. Jorge Vargas Museum, 1998). 15 John Clark, Canon-making and curating in recent Asian Art , Journal of Fine Arts (Bangkok: Silpakorn University), vol.2, no.2, 2015, 33-93. 16 Gayatri Spivak, Humanities and Development (presentation, Castle lecture series, Durham University, U.K., 2013). 17 Chomsky, Noam, and Barry Pateman. Chomsky on Anarchism. 1st ed. Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2005. Print.
Raden Saleh, Orangery in Gotha, 1847.
Raden Saleh, The Eruption of Mt. Merapi, 1865.
In Southeast Asia, anarchist and activist, Bas Umali mentions that meanings and valorisation in the Philippines is very distorted, he mentions “most of our meanings are imported from the west due to propaganda and media. One of the challenges in the archipelago and local community is to revalorise our culture. “ In a sense when the contact and experience from nature is lost - contemporary society alienates and the global capital manages the world and creates psychological construction, resulting to a strong loss of nature for any kind of real, local and autonomous life. Not to say that this is not similar to the neoliberal condition in a capitalist society like the United States. A democratic society seems to be more of a technological and sophisticated lie. Since this type of society is not fascist, the government cannot directly impose forced restrictions on an action that is considered dangerous by the state. Democratic societies can’t really work like that, because the state cannot control behaviour through force. It can to some extent, but it’s much more limited in its capacity to control by force. Therefore, it has to control what you think. One of the ways you control what people think is by creating the illusion that there’s a debate going on, but making sure that that debate stays within very narrow margins. Rehistorisiation projects in postcolonial cosmopolitan spaces are currently emerging and being presented like spurts in the archipelago. One example is the project called Southeast of Now : Contemporary and Modern art by the the Cultural Center, University of Malaysia, with the main topic revolving around “discomfort “. As well as Rehistorising Modernity in Colombia at the recent ArtBo art fair through the special exhibition titled “Referense”. The mission of La Vision in Bogota, the Galleon Trade research initiative of Residencias Artisticas por Intercambio in Acapulco, the generative criticism project “Articles of Disagreements” in Manila, and research based projects and grant initiatives of Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong, “Imperfect Chronology” at Whitechapel in London, and the recent exhibition “America is hard to see” at the Whitney, New York.
Raden Saleh, The Arrest of Pangeran Diponegoro, 1857, Merdeka Palace Museum, Jakarta.
In “The Location of Culture”, Homi K. Bhabha mentions that “in this comic turn from the high ideals of the colonial imagination to its low mimetic literary effects mimicry emerges as one of the most elusive and effective strategies of colonial power and knowledge.” In essence, the discourse of post-enlightenment colonialism often speaks in a tongue that is forked. If colonialism takes power in the name of history, it repeatedly exercises its authority through the figures of farce.18 There is a Brechtian 19 “stage” of instituting and defining the politicised image of Raden Saleh within the framework of so called modernisms. As much as the linear art historical frames him as the beginning of modernity, the historical complex narrative and epistemology of the decolonial concept, rejects it otherwise. Perhaps it is not enough that this language is contained within the structure of footnotes of scholars and academes. More than the history of art, there is this framework which contains it, and what does this framework represent actually? There is an ideology operating around interiority, a central, and certitude.20 The vision of the artist, the politics of the work appears to mean something else encased in an exhibition or foreseen as a discussion or an action.21 In the book “When the Moon Waxes Red”, filmmaker and critic Trinh Minh-Ha mentioned, “forget ideology - let the work come out…forget aesthetics – only the bourgeois indulge in that luxury.” I myself ask as an agent, to question the political interest served by the art historical text of instituting or any art historical text for that matter. Can art be co-opted in the aesthetic image of politics? Can an idea be reconciled within the bookcases of the academe?
Raden Saleh, Detail of The Lion Hunt (Memburu Singa), 1840.
Gayatari Spivak mentions, “The academe can be used as great weapons. Yet, when something is institutionalised, its the old laws of institutionalisation and disciplinarisation that take over rather than the power of the material itself…to an extent, the beginning of a so-called, “success” is actually the beginning of problems.” 22
*A previous version of this text has been published by SCCA Ljubljana and Planting Rice Manila for Curating-in-depth in 2015.
Raden Saleh, The Lion Hunt (Memburu Singa), 1840.
18 Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London ; New York: Routledge, 1994. Print. 19 German poet and playwright who developed a politicized form of theater he called “the alienating effect,” a style that relies on the audience’s reflective detachment by intentional exposure to the framework of the socalled theatrical. His works include The Threepenny Opera (1928) and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1948). 20 Trinh, T. Minh-Ha. When the Moon Waxes Red: Representation, Gender, and Cultural Politics. New York: Routledge, 1991. Print. 21 Ibid 22 Gayatri Spivak, Humanities and Development (presentation, Castle lecture series, Durham University, U.K., 2013).
DeTh, Netherlands presents Raden Saleh, 1883.
Becoming-Rabe Award ceremony to Rabe Perplexum, Munich 1986 Philipp Gufler One hundred faces are peeled off like masks, to reveal the one concealed behind. The only true one. By changing their name, the Rabe not only discarded of their person, but also their sex. - Layers. During which I repeatedly heard the curious sound of retching, which was somehow connected to the passing of men who resided here. - Voices. Rabe Perplexum: advertisement “Münchner Stadtzeitung,” 1988. Photo by Rainer Schwinge, literary archive Monacensia, Munich.
You are lost in memory, lost in the kingdom of the invisible and the unconscious. You evaded every rule and form of control. I have to erase my memory in order to remember. Put the clock 29 years forward. - You are a frenzied present tense. I, only knows itself. Only the non-ironic, non-endearing three letters. - Undeniably, you stand by our mistakes. I test your viewer-potential not only through a durational program, but by mixing all available broadcasting media together so that a massive brain overload takes place which only fresh brain cells can tackle. This is the image one ultimately turns into, the way in which one becomes used. Yes, I do performances and I go cleaning at the same time. But don’t you dare get hung up on the cleaning, because that is secondary. - Should I insult you today or is it your turn to speak? The best thing would be to get taxidermies and join a traveling exhibition. Then I would be the one who is forever alive and dead at the same time. I do not earn my rent, that gets paid. Who pays it, I need not mention. [Germany, you nasty piece of shit.]
Rabe Perplexum, Untitled Drawing, undated. Photo credit: literary archive Monacensia, Munich.
The path to success is downhill. Treat yourself to something special, the elegant awakening of your self. Like sitting peacefully on your own lap! Gravedigger mentality! Mirror the Rabe, who only comes alive through your inspection. Now we have the tree we wanted, but it is too low. Everything is too low. - To eat money out of despair. Last scraps from the table. The feeling of being washed down with a Schnaps. - Swallow deeper. - So that we can see more of you. - You are only of interest to the industry if you use their methods. … they can only be free with Tchibo. - They want what you are, because they have nothing. This quote explodes, this one entity. Suicide seems to be the only way to survive in this society. - Yes, now and again I do run around with a coffin, for photo-shoots. What have I forgotten? Which forgetting do I remember? I have to start over again, otherwise I will not live up to my expectations.
Rabe Perplexum, Untitled paintings, undated. Photo credit: literary archive Monacensia, Munich.
Text: Rabe Perplexum and Philipp Gufler Translation: Anna McCarthy and Richard John Jones
Becoming-Rabe Preisverleihung an Rabe .. Perplexum, Munchen 1986
Hundert Gesichter werden wie Masken abgestreift, damit das eine dahinter erscheint, auf das es ankommt: Der Rabe hat mit seiner Namensänderung nicht nur seine Person, sondern auch sein Geschlecht abgelegt. - Schichten. Ich habe dabei auch wiederholt das eigentümliche Röcheln gehört, das mit dem Wegsetzen der flüchtig hingemachten Männer verbunden war, die hier Zeit verbrachten. - Stimmen.
Rabe Perplexum: artaward of the city of Munich ceremony to Rabe Perplexum, 3rd of June 1986. Photo by Rainer Schwinge, literary archive Monacensia, Munich
Du bist ins Gedächtnis verschwunden, ins Reich des Unsichtbaren und Unbewussten, bist jeder Regel und Kontrolle entgangen. Stelle die Uhr 29 Jahre vor. Wenn ich mein Gedächtnis auslöschen muss, um was zu erinnern. - Du manisch aufgeladene Gegenwart. Ich kennt nur sich selbst. Nur die unironischen, unsympathischen drei Buchstaben. - Dass du dich entschließt, auf deinen Fehlern zu beharren. Ich teste Ihre Zuschauerfähigkeit nicht nur durch ein Dauerprogramm – sondern durch das Zusammenmixen aller vorhandenen Sendebereiche auf einmal – so dass eine riesige Gehirnanstrengung über Sie kommt – die nur frische Gehirnzellen überleben werden. - In welches Image man herein gerät. Wie man verwertet wird. Ja, ich mache Aktionen und nebenbei gehe ich Putzen. Aber mache dir jetzt ja nicht einen auf’s Putzen ab, denn das ist die Nebensache. - Soll ich dich heute beschimpfen, oder redest du? Am liebsten würde ich mich ausstopfen lassen und auf Wanderausstellung gehen. Dann wäre ich die, die immer lebt und immer tot ist. Meine Miete verdiene ich gar nicht, die wird bezahlt. Von wem brauche ich nicht zu sagen.
Rabe Perplexum: drawing in her diary, 1987. Photo credit: literary archive Monacensia, Munich
[Deutschland, du mieses Stück Scheiße.] Der Weg zum Erfolg führt abwärts. Leisten Sie sich das Besondere, die aparte Auferstehung deiner selbst. Wie friedlich auf Ihren Schoß sitzend! Totengräbermentalität! Spiele den Raben, der durch eure Beschau erst lebend wird. Jetzt haben wir den Baum den wir wollten. Aber er ist zu nieder. Alles ist nur zu nieder. - Gnadenbrot. Das Gefühl von sich mit einem Schnaps herunterspülen Geld aus Not essen. - SCHLUCK TIEFER. - Damit wir mehr sehen von dir. - Für die Industrie bist du nur interessant wenn du mit ihren Mitteln arbeitest. … die können nur frei sein mit Tchibo. - Sie wollen, dass du was bist, weil sie nix san. Dieses Zitat explodiert, diese einzige Einheit.
Philipp Gufler: “Becoming-Rabe”, Videoinstallation, Still, 2016. Courtesy the artist and Francoise Heitsch, Munich
Der Freitod scheint mir die einzige Möglichkeit in dieser Gesellschaft zu überleben. - Ja und hin und wieder laufe ich mit einem Sarg herum. Aber nur für Fotoaufnahmen. Was habe ich vergessen? An welches Vergessen erinnere ich mich? Ich muss noch einmal von vorne anfangen, sonst werde ich mir nicht gerecht.
Rabe Perplexum und Philipp Gufler
Art & Society. Platform BK This post is also available in: Dutch
n order to continuously reinvent itself and its values, any open society should be capable of constant self-criticism. This critical reflection requires a ‘conceptual open space’ in the public domain that provides room for experiment with new thoughts and ideas, independent of established beliefs or economic interests.
The visual arts work in and from this space, and help define its boundaries at the same time. Art and its practitioners can be considered autonomous within this space. This does not mean that they are separated from society, but that they reserve the ability to observe society from ‘the outside’; much like a painter does when he takes a step back from his easel to view the painting from a distance. From this open space new ideas and thoughts are developed. They can incite discussion, bring along new insights, or create new experiences. The role and function of the open space is to constantly imagine alternatives to the status quo, and to continuously question ourselves and our values. This is an indispensable process within society, without which society stagnates. The existence of this conceptual open space is not guaranteed – especially in a society that sees itself as the end of history and whose only measuring standard appears to be an economic one. It is the position of Platform BK, that the government has an obligation to ensure market independence in the arts sector (and other sectors). It must enable a viable counterpart to the commercial art market, by having other expectations to the arts than corporate or private funders do. By not focusing on short term profits, the government’s investment can provide continuity and a climate of trust, which is vital for the development of new vulnerable ideas and to the well-being of society in the long term. Platform BK wants to mobilize the arts sector to define, research, expand the conceptual open space, and to relay its importance for an open society.
Kunst en samenleving. This post is also available in: English
lke open samenleving moet in staat zijn zichzelf en haar waarden steeds opnieuw kritisch te bekijken en heruitvinden. Deze kritische reflectie vereist een ‘conceptuele vrijruimte’ in het openbaar domein waarin los van gevestigde of economische belangen, geëxperimenteerd kan worden met nieuwe gedachten en ideeën.
Kunst werkt in en vanuit deze ruimte en helpt tegelijkertijd ook de grenzen ervan te definiëren. Hierbinnen kunnen de kunst en haar beoefenaars als autonoom beschouwd worden. Dat wil niet zeggen dat zij los staan van de samenleving, maar dat zij de mogelijkheid hebben de samenleving van ‘buitenaf’ te observeren; zoals een schilder dat doet als hij een stapje terug doet van zijn ezel om het schilderij van een afstand te bekijken. Vanuit deze vrijruimte vloeien nieuwe ideeën en gedachten die kunnen worden opgenomen in de samenleving. Vaak zetten ze aan tot discussie, brengen nieuwe inzichten met zich mee, of zorgen voor nieuwe ervaringen. De rol en functie van de vrijruimte is het voortdurend bevragen en bedenken van alternatieven voor de status quo – we moeten onszelf en onze waarden blijven bevragen. Dat is een noodzakelijk proces binnen de samenleving, zonder welke de samenleving in zichzelf keert en stagneert. Het waarborgen van deze vrijruimte is helaas niet vanzelfsprekend – zeker niet in een samenleving, dat zichzelf als het eindpunt van de geschiedenis ziet en wiens enige maatstaf een economische lijkt te zijn. Het is het standpunt van Platform BK, dat de overheid juist garant moet staan voor marktonafhankelijkheid in de kunstsector (en andere sectoren). Zij moet een alternatief bieden door andere verwachtingen te hebben van de kunst waarin zij investeert dan dat het bedrijfsleven of particuliere financierders hebben. Door zich niet blind te staren op een kortetermijnwinst zorgt de investering van de overheid voor continuïteit en een klimaat van vertrouwen, dat van levensbelang is voor het ontwikkelen van nieuwe kwetsbare ideeën en voor de gezondheid van de samenleving op langere termijn. Platform BK wilt de kunstsector mobiliseren om de conceptuele vrijruimte te benoemen, onderzoeken, oprekken en uitbreiden, en het belang ervan voor de samenleving duidelijk maken aan de samenleving – van reaguurder tot regering.
Illustration by Yuri Veerman
You Must Make Your Death Public. You Must Make Your Death Public is a title inspired proximately by the working methodology of filmmaker Chris Kraus. It is about taking yourself as a case study, as your own case in point, being first and foremost your own most immediately available raw material and doing so without shame. We attempt in this way to use biography to stitch together a wide range of material - to create thought and writing that is a verb, a witness report of the present moment. It is a way, a dangerous way, of speaking the unspeakable now, a contemporaneity for which there is no suitable form. A form that allows any speakers to have their own agency to speak completely but instead of this meaning it cannot be spoken, it means quite the opposite: that it must be. And it is only through an unashamed subjectivity that it can be. Instead of confession, we suggest candour. Examining how the apparently private is made public, can function as revolutionary practice, we attempt to analyse the use of the personal as a tool with which to begin thinking, writing and engaging with the world through art criticism, political commentary and action. How can candid speech about oneâ€™s own experience allow for abstraction from it? What starting point does the self offer? What is the candid speech offered to the public and why this method is important?
Contributor Biographies. Nana Adusei-Poku is Research Professor in Cultural Diversity at Rotterdam University and Lecturer in Media Arts at the University of the Arts, Zurich. She was a scholarship doctoral student at Humboldt University, Berlin, working on the curatorial concept post-black in relation to contemporary Black artists, following degrees in African studies and gender studies at Humboldt University, and in media and communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Ghana, Legon; the London School of Economics; and Columbia University, New York. She published “The Challenge to Conceptualise the Multiplicity of Multiplicities—Post-Black Art and Its Intricacies” in Postracial Imaginaries, a special issue of Dark Matter, among other articles, last year. Her research interests are in cultural studies, visual culture, Black diaspora art history, postcolonial and critical race theory. Amal Alhaag is an Amsterdam based independent curator, cultural programmer and radio host with an interest in counter-culture, oral histories and global social issues. Her work explores these themes through short- and long-term collaborations with artists, institutions and audiences. Since 2008, her projects infuse music and art with current affairs, post-coloniality, digital anthropology and everyday anecdotes to invite, stage or examine ‘uncomfortable‘ issues, unknown stories and unwelcome audiences to write, share or compose narratives in impermanent settings. In the past 10 years Amal worked and collaborated with various cultural organizations, festivals, DIY collectives and institutions in the Netherlands and across Europe. Currently, she is the artistic director of contemporary urban culture platform Metro54 and curator public programming at the Research Centre For Material Culture. Maximiliane Baumgartner is an artist based in Munich, Germany. In 2014, she co-founded “Lothringer13_Florida”. As an active member of the curatorial group and co-publisher of Florida Magazine, she initiates together with them various projects with an emphasis on the means of countercultural and social movement in and beyond Munich, which question conditions that form a public. As a consequence, she visited Margaret Raspè at her home in Karpathos, Greece last year and conducted the core interview for issue 02 of Florida Magazine. In her own work, her interest and research into painting and it’s performative and social dimension often question how painting can constitute a critical space of action. Freek Boon. The director of this documentary, Freek Boon, studied both Photography and AV at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, complementing his education with a minor in journalism. After 6 years Freek Boon returned to his old hometown and decided his old friends would make an interesting subject for his graduation-film. In the background playing with the question that has always fascinated him... What is that: a perfect and meaningful life? De Rotterdamse Beeldmaatschappij is production house for opinion survey and imagery. It creates confronting and disrupting content that show the other side of prevailing ideas in society. Without falling into exoticism, voyeurism, or idolising people. Platform Beeldende Kunst is a strategic coalition that mobilizes existing networks and maps out new connections in order to develop a foundation for joint action and spokemanship. Our aim is to positively affect the current perception and public opinion of arts and culture; to influence political decision-making in conjunction with existing interest groups such as De Zaak Nu and Kunsten 92; and to put forward new logics that can (re) define the significance of art. Ben d’Armagnac (1940 - 1978, both in Amsterdam) studied painting at the Rietveld academy in Amsterdam from 1960 - 1963 and moved 1965 shortly into the commune of Dutch artist Anton Heyboer in Landsmeer, who was an important influence on his early etchings. From 1967 on he worked together with Gerrit Dekker, e.g. on “Project for a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, toilet and some non-specified spaces” at Galerie Mickery in 1969 in Amsterdam and abroad before shifting his focus to performance art in the early 1970s. He was one of the prominent Dutch artists to perform at De Appel in its early years. He drowned on the 28th of September 1978 in the Brouwersgracht in Amsterdam next to his house boot. On the day he was supposed to make a performance in Arnheim. The last time a bigger amount of his works were shown 2005-2006 at the oneperson show “Making Life Come To Life” at the Museum Het Domein in Sittard, Netherlands. Colin Djukic dropped out of high school in 1997. Worked as a nurse. Ran a low budget recording studio which was transferred to Munich artist-run space “Lothringer13_Florida” in 2014 to serve as a resource for artists in residence and other interested parties. Committee member of “Lothringer13_Florida” since October 2015. Workshops on audio production. Does sound design and film music, plays in two impro groups (Antifun Arkestra, Sonytagartony, both have released a vinyl record on Kollaps Records) and does radio plays. Pascal Gielen (1970) is director of the research center ‘Arts in Society’ at the Groningen University where he is professor for sociology of art and cultural politics. He is also editor-in-chief of the book series ‘Arts in Society’. Gielen has written several books on contemporary art, cultural heritage and cultural politics. Philipp Gufler (1989) lives in Amsterdam. His work spans a variety of media including silkscreens, performances and video. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and the University of Art and Design in Karlsruhe. Since April 2013 he has been conducting research in the self-organised archive Forum Homosexualität München and in 2014 he published a video installation and an artist book by the same name - “Projection on the Crisis (Gauweilereien in Munich)”. His work has been shown at Schwules Museum in Berlin, “Favoriten” in Lenbachhaus, Munich, “Videonale15” at Kunstmuseum Bonn and in the galleries Françoise Heitsch in Munich and Sassa Trülzsch in Berlin. Since September 2015 he is a participant at De Ateliers, Amsterdam. Lian Ladia. Based in the Philippines, Lian Ladia is an independent curator, writer, and assistant lecturer in contemporary art. In 2011, She co-founded with curator Sidd Perez an artistic platform in Manila called Planting Rice. Aside from curatorial projects featuring emerging artists, repotentialised spaces (whether online, print, or actual public spaces), the curatorial team also aims to foster the rise of cross-pollination among artistic communities.
Lothringer13_Florida practices discussions, screenings, readings, meals, care, struggle and improvisations, focusing on a collaborative and collective approach to making and curating. Florida operates as an artistrun, project-specific and decentralised organisation, which is based in Munich, that involves changing locations and different collaborators. The following resources are in their space in the Lothringerstraße 13 available: a library consisting of de-privatized book collections, an archive containing fanzines, posters, film and audio, as well as a recording studio, screening room and residency quarters. Florida hosts regular artists‘ residencies and publishes a biannual magazine entitled Florida. The latter is conceived as a autonomous space to reflect on artists‘ positions and discussions raised within Florida’s programme and thus replaces a conventional exhibition framework with a flexible structure that easily travels. Maria Guggenbichler likes to think, dance, listen, talk, walk, laugh, organize, publish, work, cook with others. Her pranksterish and discursive practice celebrates the unexpected, rampant and joyful circulation of knowledge, non-knowledge, exuberance and slow dances between people. Projects and events take place mostly outside institutional walls – in domestic, informal, or self-organized places. Maria works in long-term and close friendships and collaborations. Over the last ten years, Maria has an ongoing collaboration with her friend Rosalie Schweiker. Together they organised a holiday for female artists (Funny Women Art, 2013); published a reader about the “fact that art institutions gladly incorporate feminism as long as it is authored by men” (Clever Men’s Art, 2014), and had a solo show under the name of a male artist (Outpost, Norwich, 2015). Maria is a member of editorial team of Girls Like Us, the feminist and queer arts and cultures magazine. Since 2014, Maria Guggebichler and Amal Alhaag run together the Side Room in Amsterdam. The Side Room is a place for intersectional feminist, queer, anti-colonial and anti-racist discourses and cultural practices. Minna Henriksson is an artist living in Helsinki. She has graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and ensued Critical Studies at Malmö Art Academy. Her work relates to artistic post media practices exercising a disparate range of tools including text, drawing, photography and linocut. Henriksson has made series of mappings of art scenes, where she brings to public awareness information that circulates in art scenes. Often this information is personal and biased, and regardless of its factuality it nevertheless illuminates dynamics in the art scenes and positions of power. Although she thinks the maps have played an important role of reflectivity in the scenes, Henriksson regrets that these works have caused her to lose friendships. She has had an ongoing theoretical engagement on nationalism together with Sezgin Boynik since 2006. Henriksson coedited book Art Workers - Material Conditions and Labour Struggles in Contemporary Art Practice focusing on problematic aspects in art workers’ labour conditions in Finland, Sweden and Estonia. Nancy Hoffmann. Art-historian and ‘practivist’ Nancy Hoffmann previously worked in the Caribbean, Central America, African countries and Turkey as a director (IBB Curacao), lecturer and curator. In 2015 she cofounded the Rotterdamse beeldmaatschappij together with Freek Boon, Dennis Neumann and Selwyn de Bruijn and works at research and communication for their productions. Jussi Koitela is a curator and a visual artist currently based in Amsterdam. His long term curatorial research project Skills of Economy address artistic reactions to economic discourses and structures. Participants of the Curatorial Programme 2015-16. Manjit Krishna Kaur is the Creative Director of the Fifth Friday Sisterhood based at the Mezrab Cultural Centre in Amsterdam, has a MA from Dasarts and is a writer, journalist as well as a social activist and performance artist, Kaur is a British Asian and has lived in Holland for nearly 30 years. Dennis Neumann. Editor and filmmaker Dennis Neumann studied AV and fine-arts at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. As a self-called misanthrope Neumann looks at the world with a higher-than-average dose of suspicion. After working at Rietveld TV as a co-creator for several years, he felt it was time to take his current home-town Rotterdam under the looking glass and scrutinize the art-world. Neumann was also the editor for our documentary Hoe kun je nou zo Leven. Renée Akitelek Mboya is a writer, filmmaker and curator from Nairobi. Her practice is concerned with examining the condition of the body in relation to subjective migratory experiences. Participants of the Curatorial Programme 2015-16. Rabe Perplexum (1956-1996 both in Munich, Germany) was a performance, video and multimedia artist and well known for her edgy behaviour and style in the artist scene and abroad. From 1986 - 1991 she studied at the art academy Munich and received 1986 the art award of the city of Munich. In her performative productions she involved often her mother and family, friends and random people and performed it in the art context as well in public space. In 1987 her video Performance “The Unknown Artist” was broadcasted in German television. In her paintings and drawings she combined elements of neo-expressionism, punk and bavarian folklore. In 1996 she took an overdose of medications and was found dead in her home. She left no note. In the munich based literature archive Monacensia is her estate preserved, including videos, her diaries, scripts and photographs from her performances, which is rarely touched since her retrospective 1998 at The Rathaus-Galerie in Munich. Rune Peitersen. Visual artist Rune Peitersen is co-founder and chairman of Platform Beeldende Kunst. In his work he questions the role of the observer in relation to the observed. Rune is also co-founder of the artist groups Calcite Revolt and Platform Re-set. Margaret Raspé is an artist based in Berlin. While closely involved in discussions around Fluxus and Viennese Actionism, Margaret Raspé has carved out her own artistic position that brings art and life together through everyday experiences. Her broad practice encompasses film works, automatic drawing, painting and performance; and her work often deals with the bodily knowledge, trance-states and the automatic, and the relation of man to his environment. In 2016 Florida released Magazine # 02: “A conversation between Florida and Margaret Raspé”.
Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina are an artist duo from Jakarta. Their tactical, interventionist approach is developed in response to living in a megacity of 15 million people, and amid large-scale contemporary political power struggles. They frequently deal with social issues in public space, translating them into spontaneously unfolding events. The lack of institutional support in Indonesia has encouraged a self-organised and collective spirit. The paradoxical situation and problems are strategically responded to within a universal currency of ‘playfulness’, which is understood as having imaginative capacity to generate critical alternatives to these complicated issues. In the last two years, their art practices are closely related to humanity issues, historical and colonization dilemmas and environment disasters. A long-term project has been their own focus spreading on the most vulnerable places on earth the Pacific Rim (The Ring of Fire), where the intense geopolitical turbulence and crisis happen in territory of ideologies as many as natural disasters inside the earth. Michelle Schulkens recently joined the organisation of Platform Beeldende Kunst to coordinate new and existing projects and to conduct research. Michelle holds a degree in Cultural Sciences (MA). She has worked in various fields in several art institutions in the Netherlands, such as Centraal Museum and Stroom Den Haag. Yasmine Soraya was born in Surabaya and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. She graduated from the University of Indonesia. After finishing her studies, she worked as lawyer in some law offices and ended up working for the Trade Union Rights Center before moving to the Netherlands and finishing her master study at Tilburg University. She worked as Secretary General at Indonesian Migrant Workers Union from 2011 to 2016 and took an active part to struggle the rights of Indonesian domestic workers. Buyung Ridwan Tanjung was born & raised in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. He graduated from the University Sebelas Maret (UNS) , Solo and has taken an active part in NGOs such as at Sekretariat Bersama Perempuan Yogakarta (SBPY), Sahabat Perempuan Magelang, Urban Poor Linkage Simpul Yogya and Ombudsman Jogjakarta. He has worked as a lawyer and recently received a scholarship from the Ford Foundation to get his masters degree at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Asep Topan is an independent curator and writer based in Jakarta. Since 2011, he has been involved as a writer, researcher and editor for several projects in ruangrupa, an artist-run initiative based in Jakarta. In 2015 he was co-curator for 16th edition of Jakarta Biennale “Neither Back Nor Forward: Acting in The Present.” Participants of the Curatorial Programme 2015-16. Nicoline van Harskamp is an artist whose recent works use and explore the English language that is created among non-native speakers worldwide, and imagine the (aesthetic) properties of a future spoken global language. Her live works such as “English Forecast” and “A Romance in Five Acts and Twenty-one Englishes”, have been staged at Tate Modern Performance Room in London, KunstWerke in Berlin, Witte de With in Rotterdam, New Museum in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Arnolfini in Bristol, Serralves Foundation in Porto and Kaaitheater in Brussels. Her video and installation works such as “Yours in Solidarity”, have been presented at MUAC in Mexico City, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Manifesta 9 in Genk, the Biennials of Gothenburg, Shanghai, Taipei and Moscow; and elsewhere. She has been a resident artist at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, IASPIS in Stockholm and Platform Garanti in Istanbul. Nicoline van Harskamp (1975) lives and works in Amsterdam. She is currently teaching her 2 year old his first language. Louwrien Wijers, visual artist and writer. In 1969 I was told by Ben d’Armagnac: “Stop just writing about art, start making art yourself.” I see myself as sculptor. After 18 years near to Joseph Beuys, 1968-1986, I look at writing and speaking as sculpture also. I make mental sculpture as well as material sculpture. In 1981 Beuys asked me to bring him in contact with the Dalai Lama. I had interviewed him at length on the request of Andy Warhol. The Dalai Lama/Beuys meeting of 1982 led to my mental sculpture Art meets Science and Spirituality in a changing Economy, 1990 and 1996. ‘Compassionate Economy’ was my focus up to 2005. It brought me the conclusion that ‘Satisfiying not Maximising’ is the current trend in economics. I found that my simple rule ‘No Lying/No Killing/No Stealing /Grains /Vegetables /Beans’; is a firm basis for a successful society and world economy, our world household. The influence of food on our future is since 2008 my topic with the slogan: ‘Science is the Past / Art is the Present /Food is the Future’. Sri Mahatma Gandhi said: “To build a stable society it is important that nobody goes to bed hungry.” Gandhi-ji added: “Hunger is the only true dictator.” Grains, Vegetables and Beans can feed all people alive on this planet and we would still have enough water for all. On top, that way of eating will make us more peaceful inwardly as well as outwardly. On that basis we can stop killing so many thousands of animals. Since the beginning of life on earth animals were always our nearest friends. In 2014 my food slogan slightly changed to “Fresh Food is the Future”. Food ought to be eaten within 7 hours after preparation as the ‘ether’, that makes our body cells shine, is lost after 7 hours. We are then just chewing dull matter that gives neither intelligence nor satisfaction. Always cook fresh food and after 7 hours you offer your leftovers to animals on your balcony, in your backyard, in stables, parks and woods. Birds, hedgehogs, deer, pigs, ermines and many other animals are good at finding it and digesting it. Of course I exhibit and appear in public too. Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa. Born in 1976 in Glasgow, Emma WolukauWanambwa lives and works in London. In 2008, she graduated with a master’s degree from the Slade School of Fine Art at UCL, London, UK. She also holds a BA (Hons) English degree from Clare College, University of Cambridge, UK. Her artworks are realized in a variety of forms and media, which include installation, sound, video, performance, printmaking and drawing. In recent work she has explored the ways that beliefs, world views and value-systems are constructed and reproduced. The roles that memory, the historical record and spatial practice play in these processes have been of particular interest.
Exhibition floor plan:
work info. You Must Make Your Death Public seeks to probe the notion of crisis in contemporary society and its institutions. With its inception in a specific moment of crisis, the project attempts to analyse power relations through an interrogation of the peculiar formulation of aesthetics, language and location. It explores the ways in which the meanings, values and behaviours that a society produces and promotes through its cultural forms and practices, almost always privilege some groups at the expense of others. The project is built around artistic contributions on display here at de Appel arts centre, (ground floor), a CoSpeaking Programme and a publication. The artistic contributions of Philipp Gufler, Nicoline van Harskamp, Minna Henriksson and Irwan Ahmett & Tita Salina tackle distinct contemporary conditions of crises departing from the current situation at de Appel art centre. Through linguistic performance they create a cartography of the situation and find a way to relocate and dispatch the notion of crisis, to broader sociopolitical conditions. The CoSpeaking Programme invites concerned artists, researchers and activists to engage with the idea of crisis and continue the process of the relocation and subjectivation of critical conditions of labour, social inequality and the recurring postcolonial moment. The publication which accompanies the project is a suggestion, a proposed beginning for engagement amongst numerous conversations and noisy thoughts.
A. MINNA HENRIKSSON The (singular/symptomatic) case of De Appel Enlarged drawings, 2016 B. NICOLINE VAN HARSKAMP Esplorobjektoj Video loop, 2016 with Leston Buell, Nora Barón, Luc Windaus, Britt van Groningen, Asep Topan, Renée Mboya, Jussi Koitela and Nicoline van Harskamp. Camera by Ivo van Stiphout. Sound by Thomas Myrmel. Thanks to the Sandberg Institute. C. CO-SPEAKING PROGRAMME D. IRWAN AHMETT & TITA SALINA Purchase Order for “Total Cleansing” act 2016 E1. PHILIPP GUFLER “Quilt #12” (Ben d’Armagnac) Silkscreen on fabric, 180 x 90 cm, 2016 (from 5 May onwards) E2. PHILIPP GUFLER Studiogelb (Heliogen Blau königsblau, Perlglanz Diamant Amethyst) _ Heliogen Blau königsblau (Hostapern Pink transparent, Perlglanz Iriodin Schwarz), silkscreen on mirror, 85 x 90 cm, 2016 E3. PHILIPP GUFLER Een gebeuren Video installation, plexiglass cube, 205 x 100 x 90 cm, HD, color, sound, 2016 (from 3 June onwards) E4. PHILIPP GUFLER Perlglanz Iriodin Schwarz _ Studiogelb Silkscreen on mirror, 85 x 90 cm, 2016 E5. PHILIPP GUFLER Heliogen Blau königsblau _ Rebschwarz Silkscreen on mirror, 85 x 90 cm, 2016 F. PHILIPP GUFLER Becoming-Rabe Video installation, fabrics, 7 min, HD, sound, colour, 2016, Co-Director: Narges Kalhor, Sound: Colin Djukic, Voice: Barbara Spiller
This publication is a production of de Appel arts centre’s Curatorial Programme, in the year 2015-16. It is an initiative of the project You Must Make Your Death Public. You Must Make Your Death Public is part of the project Untitled (two takes on crisis), which takes place at de Appel arts centre, from 23 April until 12 June, 2016. It is developed by participants of the Curatorial Programme 2015-16, namely Jussi Koitela, Renée Mboya and Asep Topan.
About the Curatorial Programme: Initiated in 1994 as an in-house international training trajectory for young curators, the Curatorial Programme of de Appel arts centre offers its participants hands-on experiences and skills for a further development of their professional career. Each year the programme culminates in the collective conception of a final project at de Appel arts centre. With thanks to Ammodo
GENERAL INFORMATION LOCATION
Prins Hendrikkade 142 • 1011 AT Amsterdam • The Netherlands T +31 (0)20 6255651 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.deappel.nl facebook.com/deappelartscentre • Twitter @de_appel
OPENING HOURS EXHIBITIONS Exhibition
Monday Closed Tuesday - Sunday 11 am - 6 pm De Appel arts centre is closed on the following holidays: 27 April, 25 December, 1 January and during the setting up and dismantling of exhibitions. Check our website for current information.
Tuesday 2 pm - 6 pm Wednesday 2 pm - 6 pm The archives are only accessible by appointment
YOU MUST MAKE YOUR DEATH PUBLIC
PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES. Co-Speaking Program One of the key propositions of the project You Must Make Your Death Public, is in relation to the idea of inviting individuals and communities into de Appel, as Co-Speakers. The activities of the project are not targeted towards a certain audience or to certain groups of people but are focused on trying to establish co-speaking processes with existing communities and people concerned with, and in conversation about, contemporary conditions of crises.
Friday 22th of April, 2-5pm Presentation of the project and discussion with some of the contributors (programmed by Jussi Koitela, Renée Mboya, Asep Topan) Saturday 23rd of April, 2-5pm Talks with Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa and Manjit Krishna Kaur (programmed by J.K, R.M and A.T) Sunday 1st of May, 4-6pm Film screening Dispereert Niet by Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina and Talks with Indonesian Migrant Workers Union Netherlands. (programmed by J.K, R.M and A.T) Thursday 5th of May, 5-7pm Een gebeuren #01 Discussion with Philipp Gufler and Louwrien Wijers on Ben d’Armagnac, Presentation of Quilt #12 (Ben d’Armagnac) (programmed by Philipp Gufler, J.K, R.M and A.T) Wednesday 11th of May, 4-6pm Screening of Hoe Kun Je Nou Zo Leven (Thin Line), presented by Freek Boon from De Rotterdamse Beeldmaatschappij (programmed by Platform BK)
Thursday 12th of May, 8-10 pm Talks by Nana Adusei-Poku and Pascal Gielen (programmed by J.K, R.M and A.T) Wednesday 18th of May, 4-6pm Screening Linkse Hobbies presented by Nancy Hoffmann and Dennis Neumann from De Rotterdamse Beeldmaatschappij (programmed by Platform BK) Thursday19th of May, 5-7pm Een gebeuren #02 Magazine presentation of FLORIDA #02 with Lothringer13_Florida and film screening of two films by Margaret Raspé. Philipp Gufler in discussion with Maximiliane Baumgartner and Colin Djukic from Lothringer13_Florida (programmed by P.G, J.K, R.M and A.T) Sunday 29th of May, 2-6pm Feminist Hommage Cake Fest, Seminar and Workshop with Simone Koller & Mara Zust. (programmed by Amal Alhaag and Maria Guggenbichler by kind support of the Side Room)
Thursday 2nd of June, 5-7pm Een gebeuren #03 Performance by Philipp Gufler. By revising and adjoining on Ben d’Armagnac’s performance at 1975 in De Appel Art Centre, he wants to embody the perspective from inside the cube and project the d’Armagnac’s performance into the future. (programmed by P.G, J.K, R.M and A.T)
You Must Make Your Death Public is initiated by Jussi Koitela, Renée Mboya and Asep Topan.
Published on May 7, 2016
This publication is part of the curatorial project You Must Make Your Death Public, initiated by Jussi Koitela, Renée Mboya and Asep Topan a...