Artists: Arahmaiani, Ashley Bickerton, Chris Bunjamin, Marco Cassani, Rafram Chaddad, Cian Dayrit, Fendry Ekel, J. W. Heydt, Agnieszka Kurant, Goshka Macuga, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Rirkrit Tiravanija
Exhibition title: We Move Amongst Ghosts
Presented by: Kayu | Lucie Fontaine and Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta [YMMJ: Friends of Jakarta Museums Foundation]
Venue: Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia
Date: February 11 – March 15, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Kayu | Lucie Fontaine and Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta
Kayu | Lucie Fontaine and Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta [YMMJ: Friends of Jakarta Museums Foundation] are pleased to present “We Move Amongst Ghosts” at the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is Kayu | Lucie Fontaine’s eleventh project and the first in a series of group exhibitions in collaboration with YMMJ. The series, showcasing artists from Indonesia and abroad, will be held at a selection of Jakarta museums. “We Move Amongst Ghosts | Justice,” our inaugural show, includes works by Arahmaiani, Ashley Bickerton, Chris Bunjamin, Marco Cassani, Rafram Chaddad, Cian Dayrit, Fendry Ekel, J. W. Heydt, Agnieszka Kurant, Goshka Macuga, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Rirkrit Tiravanija.
The show looks at the interface between object and space on the one hand, and memory on the other. In particular, we focus on how objects and spaces conjure historical and communal memories. This underlying idea harks back to Kayu’s fifth project in 2016, “Ritiro,” in which a group of artworks ‘went’ on a retreat from Bali to Java, thus suggesting the idea that space and object, things without life in themselves, might have a kind of existence – an internal life – of their own.
“We Move Amongst Ghosts | Justice” builds on this suggestion in relation to the definition and meaning of a museum, particularly its role as a nexus between the past and the present. Our starting point is the work of YMMJ since 2017 in conservation and documentation. In 2018, YMMJ commissioned the Indonesian artist Chris Bunjamin to document seven of the eleven museums belonging to the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, all of them eminent landmarks in the Indonesian capital and in the Indonesian national consciousness. These include: the National Monument [Monas], the Jakarta History Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics, the Textile Museum, the Wayang Museum, the Prasasti Museum and Gedong Joang ’45.
Bunjamin produced a series of seven black and white photographs of these buildings, conveying a personal impression of Jakarta’s collective memory. As one of the documented sites, the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics – the venue of our exhibition – brings the artworks on show into a dialogue with the museum’s past, its permanent collection and its urban context, Kota Tua (Jakarta’s historically-charged old town). The show recalls the museum’s earlier role as the Raad van Justitie**, which served as the highest court of justice in colonial Indonesia. A mental space – with “Justice” as its theme – is created in the main hall of the museum, within which the artworks are displayed. The overall effect is a play on the building’s former function as a judicial seat, but one now in which artworks present themselves before the court of public of opinion. It is an invitation to explore the memories conjured up by both space and object, memories that form the linkages between our past and present.