Yogya Annual Art #6 2021: TRANSboundaries


We have been in a pandemic “Circular Flow” (Triana Nurmaria) for more than a year. Maybe now it is the time for us to reflect on how social restrictions are implemented, especially for a healthier life (“Come On Live Healthier,” Joni Ramlan). These restrictions are aimed at ourselves and daily interactions so that we slowly begin to adapt. The students, for example, have to “study at/from home” (Raka Hadi Permadi).

To maintain distance, to minimize face-to-face contact, demobilized (Alit Ambara). At first it felt strange, but over time there was habituation, internalization, as well as silent disobedience. The determination of these relatively fluid boundaries is often negotiated, but the choice is in our hands. “Choose Now!” (Burhanudin Reihan Afnan). Beside that, society as a structure can indeed last and survive through various social boundaries.

These boundaries allow the individual to feel, in Javanese terms, “empan-papan” (knowing one’s place). Be aware of position in society. The most structural social boundaries are of course social class and group. We place ourselves in an awareness of our position in the social hierarchy. From this boundary distinction, for example, we can identify certain social group/class and self-identity (A.T. Sitompul, “Be Somebody”). Other boundaries are more cultural, such as ethnicity, religion, and language. Although these boundary markers are elastic, it does not mean that they are not critical. Take for example the thickening of the boundaries of religious identity. This tendency is becoming more and more obvious, starting from the everyday look of intolerance to radicalism that easily explodes.

Yogya Annual Art #6 2021, including two special projects by Made Wianta (1949-2020) and Nyoman Nuarta, is still dealing with this condition. We are still in the same sociological and cultural context, not only as “Hot News” (Hono Sun), but also “The Great Silence” (Fika Khoirun Nisa) which has the potential to be horror, threatening. Because, on the one hand, we realize that we are not completely
free from the plague.

We are still trying, patiently and steadfastly, to rid ourselves of the pandemic condition and all its restrictions. On the other hand, we also experience and observe the phenomena of thickening of certain social boundaries that have the potential as obstacles and threats to cultural and social change, the dynamics of national life, in a direction that is expected to be better.

With this background, we can observe the works of 86 artists in responding to efforts to establish social boundaries, negotiations, and crossings over them. Together with all the artists who participated in YAA #6, hopefully we can read more critically the directions of transition, the possibility of change, interpret the trajectories of the “Infinite” (Laila Tifah) post-pandemic world. Let’s get up, resurrect and take action (“Resurraction”)! As affirmed by Natalini Widhiasi through her wall project.

Find out more here.

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Kris Budiman
Ida Fitri