Jun 30, 2015

ArtJog 2015 and OK Video 2015 (Part 1)

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Bulan Juni, bulan seni? Nggak tau juga, sih. Tapi yang pasti, di bulan Juni kemaren, ada beberapa pameran seni besar yang diadakan berbarengan, diantaranya ArtJog di Yogyakarta, OK Video di Jakarta, dan ArtBasel di Basel.

I went to two out of three exhibitions mentioned above—no hepeng for Basel!—and they were vastly different. I was surprised. Not because they're different, but because I could tell the differences! One year ago, all art exhibitions would look the same in my eyes. I guess all that gallery-hopping and staring into random jumbled crap for 30 minutes while asking myself “Is this art?!” finally paid off. Either my art brain or pretentiousness got bigger *tepok tangan*

So now I shall compare and contrast ArtJog 2015 with OK Video 2015, from my POV.

ORGANIZERS

ArtJog 2015:
I do not know ArtJog’s organizers at all and I am not familiar with its history, so I came to the exhibition as a blank canvas. No expectations. Sekian dan terimakasih.

OK Video 2015:
OK Video is the brainchild of ruangrupa, and it is one of their oldest and biggest regular programs. I’m pretty familiar with ruangrupa, therefore, I am more familiar with OK Video than ArtJog.

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OK Video 2015

BASIC CONCEPT

ArtJog 2015:
ArtJog is an annual contemporary artfair, one of the biggest in Yogyakarta. It showcases all kinds of contemporary artworks in all kinds of medium.

Very simple and broad concept.

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ArtJog 2015

OK Video 2015:
Ugh, OK Video’s concept is such a pain in the ass. It’s so vague and I’ve never been able to totally grasp it.

When it was first established in 2003, the bi-annual OK Video claimed to be a “video arts festival”. However, over the years, they changed their definition into “video festival”. They dropped the word “art” because they worry it would distanced themselves from the visitors. One thing for certain, ruangrupa never wanted to be exclusive. Nggak pengen berjarak sama rakyat, gitu.

This year, OK Video’s definition was revised again into “media arts festival”, because they wanted to showcase more than just video-based artworks. They’d like to expand to digital and even internet-based arts (… or something), which I kinda understood why, but was still confused overall. I was thinking, does this mean we’re going to see Internet memes holographs? Robots? And why did the word “art” came back? Apa maunyaaa..?

*makan press release OK Video 2015*

Am I—like Jon Snow—really knows nothing? Or does OK Video's concept secretly confusing to everyone else, too?

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OK Video 2015

THEMES

ArtJog 2015: 
ArtJog 2015’s direction is very simple. This year is ArtJog’s 8th year, and so they took the cue from the number ‘8’.

The number 8 looks like the infinity sign, and for the organizers, the infinity sign looks like a flowing shape, which they translated into the word “flux”. Kebetulan, di dunia seni, ada aliran yang namanya Fluxus, maka jadilah tema ArtJog 2015... “Infinity in Fluxus”. Teretekdungjes! It’s such an easy mnemonic, I wrote it from memory. No press release needed. Very easy. Though felt a tad lazy.

But what did “Infinity in Fluxus” meant for the exhibition? Dalam definisi singkat, Fluxus adalah aliran ‘anti-high-art’ yang pengen mengaburkan batasan antara seni dengan bukan seni. Jadi suka-suka senimannya, deh. Mau dia taro jamban bekas di galeri kek, tong sampah kek, celana dalem neneknya kek, pokoknya anggep aja karya. Gerakan Fluxus juga meyakini interaksi antara pengunjung dengan karya yang dipajang. Konon katanya, makna karya Fluxus baru bisa terasa kalo ada interaksi. Kalo diliat-liat doang, sama aja bo’ong.

Therefore, the artworks in ArtJog 2015 were mostly interactive and touchable. Ada benang merah secara bentuk, tapi nggak ada benang merah secara tema/pesan.

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ArtJog 2015

OK Video 2015:
This year, OK Video’s theme was way more interesting than ArtJog’s, which was Orde Baru. Despite the ribet-ness of OK Video’s concept, I personally think they came up with a genius theme this year.

Orde Baru was an epic chapter in Indonesian history. It was started by a massive, violent massacre, and it was ended by a bloody revolution as well. Economy-wise, Indonesia was the most prosperous during Orde Baru, but at the same time, Indonesians had to live under continuous propaganda, censorship, and intense control by the government. Orde Baru juga mewariskan budaya KKN yang mendarah daging sampe sekarang.

Some say Orde Baru still exists among us, but at least we now live with more freedom of speech, so we can look back, reminisce, and re-assess our life during that period.

OK Video 2015 did just that; it revisited and recreated parts of Orde Baru, specifically through the eyes of media. Damn brilliant.

Did the festival managed to deliver its ambitious theme, though?

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OK Video 2015

CURATORS

ArtJog 2015:
I was introduced to Bambang ‘Toko’ Witjaksono around 7-8 years ago, and I bumped into him on several occasions afterwards. Other than that, I know nothing about Mas Bambang. He seemed like a nice guy. Calm, collected, a (stereo)typical Yogya-nese, and on first impression, didn’t look like the curator type. I guess I was wrong.

OK Video 2015:
Likewise, I initially did not know anything about Mahardika Yudha a.k.a. Diki as well. We supposed to know each other from my ruangrupa days, but I did not remember him at all (while he claimed to still remember me from back then, ciyeee. Apa sih, kok ciye).

However, at this year’s OK Video, we were re-introduced, so I got to know him again.

Diki seems very quite, but certainly a deep thinker. He’s that type of guy who would disappear at parties, only to be found at the back of the room, watching art videos for hours without blinking. As the director of Forum Lenteng, videos and films are totally his shit, and his curatorial for OK Video 2015 were damn mateng. What’s even better, Diki has a strong journalism and history background, which fitted perfectly with the Orde Baru theme. There could be no better choice for this year's festival’s curator.

Plus, with his jet-black curly hair, kumis tipis, and shy-shy-cat attitude, Dara says he’s like the artsy, skinny version of Jon Snow (if you almost-close your eyes).

Jon Snow banget?! 
(photo is from Whiteboardjournal)

VENUES & CROWDS

Like any established exhibitions, both ArtJog and OK Video have regular venues they can rely on every year. ArtJog in Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, OK Video in Galeri Nasional Indonesia.
 
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ArtJog 2015

The general crowds were also similar, which were dominated by the younger generation, kids around 15-25 y.o.

However, ArtJog 2015’s visitors seemed calmer and more appreciative than Jakarta crowds. They at least made time to observe the artworks first, before taking pictures of themselves. Sometimes they didn’t take pictures at all, but just crept around the room quietly. That’s a miracle, considering how photogenic and easy-to-digest most ArtJog 2015’s artworks were.

If ArtJog 2015 were in Jakarta, the young adults would destroy the artworks within 5 minutes after their arrival, with their brutal picture-takings and selfie-sticks.

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ArtJog 2015

On the other hand, OK Video 2015’s visitors mainly consisted of Jakarta's young hipsters and ruangrupa groupies, who are bolder, more dynamic, but rowdier.

OK Video 2015’s crowds weren’t as annoying as, let’s say, Aku Diponegoro’s or Triennale Patung 2014’s crowds. At those exhibitions, people's self-obsession and ignorance towards the artworks were almost insulting. Maybe because OK Video’s works weren’t photogenic and harder to digest, jadi anak-anak ini mau nggak mau harus stop and observe for a while, nggak sekedar ngejadiin pamerannya sebagai latar hura-hura.

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OK Video 2015

Nevertheless, there’s this one thing I noticed.

This year, ArtJog showcased Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree, where you basically wrote down your wish and hanged it on the tree. 

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ArtJog 2015

I was reading the wishes, and soon, I felt like hanging myself. Literally EVERY wish was about graduating with good grades, finding soulmate, and world peace, written in tidy handwriting, diawali dengan basmalah, diakhiri dengan aamiin. Ngokkk, zzzz... *uhuk*boring*uhuk*

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Dia pasti baru pake jilbab...

In Jakarta, I would definitely find wishes on robbing a bank, making out with a friend’s hot mom, or possessing a black magic for revenge. Naughtier, wilder, more creative.

This is probably a premature judgment, but this Wish Tree is one proof that Yogya’s crowd truly is more submissive, while Jakarta’s more subversive.

PROGRAMS & WHATNOTS

I would say that OK Video 2015 was superior in terms of programs and media kit. ArtJog 2015's programs seemed nothing out of ordinary, while OK Video 2015—being a festival—was brimming with intriguing seminars, discussions, artists talks, and performances. Every single one of them was filled with active participants. At least Instagram said so.

OK Video 2015's website was also detailed and enlightening. ArtJog 2015? Not so much. The same goes with their catalogues. 

Gue paling sebel sama katalog pameran yang isinya cuma foto, judul karya, dan nama seniman. Unfortunately, ArtJog 2015 was being lazy and produced such catalogue. However, OK Video 2015's catalogue was more informative with further details of each artworks.

Dear artists, I understand you guys usually hate explaining about your artworks.  Mungkin karena menurut ngana, inti dari karya seni adalah feeling *feeeliiing... wouw, wouw, wouw, feeeliiing...* dan interpretasi pribadi. But cut us non-artsy common people some slack, will you? We'd love knowing the process and meaning behind your works. We want to peek inside your minds. And we want detailed catalogues *gebrak meja*

To Be Continued!

 

4 comments:

  1. Di wish tree, aku akan nulis "finding at least 20 telecommuter respondent for my ****** research" (ಠ_ರೃ)

    ReplyDelete
  2. ini aku aja yg tinggal di jogja gak ke artjog, Mbak Lei malah jauh-jauh dr jakarta buat liat artjog.. Wah jiwa seni bangeet...hehehe

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  3. Kalau aku pasti bakal nulis : Mau dapat kerja dan tinggal di Jepang" di wish tree :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. mau nulis : semoga bonus cepet keluar dan keluarnya 100x lipet, dan kamu putus sama cewe kamu. lah jadi pedih. hahahahhaha.

    btw itu aku baca feeling sambil nyanyik! sial. bahhahahaa wowowo banget!

    ReplyDelete