BIENNALE JOGJA EQUATOR
Biennale Jogja (BJ) is an international biennial run by Yogyakarta Regional Government and organized by Yayasan Biennale Yogyakarta (YBY). It was first organized in 1988, and this year reached its 14th edition. Starting with 2011, YBY launched the project of Biennale Jogja Equator series (Biennale Equator) with focus on the region of the equator belt. Biennale Jogja assumes the equator as a new perspective which simultaneously opens up to confront the ‘establishment’ as well the conventions towards the organization of such events. Equator represents the starting point to create a common platform to “re-read’” the world.
BJ Equator series will bring Indonesia, particularly Yogyakarta, on a trip around the planet for 10 years. For each of the organized editions, Biennale Equator will collaborate with one or more countries or regions around the line of equator.
Through visual art events, the encounter in BJ Equator will be implemented with the spirit to develop continuous connections to a point in which dialog, collaboration, and partnership create new wider and sustainable possibilities between practitioners positioned in the region of equator. Its hope is to bring contributions to the topographic establishments in the field of global art formulated in novel ways.
The organization of Biennale Equator along the years included:
Equator #1 2011 : Indonesia – India
Equator #2 2013 : Indonesia – countries from the Arab region
Equator #3 2015 : Indonesia – Nigeria (Africa)
Equator #4 2017 : Indonesia – Brazil
This edition of Jogja Biennale Equator 2017 represents the furthest point in the trip around the Equatorial belt. For the fourth equator edition, Brazil has been selected as the partner country.
Indonesia meets Brazil
In the National Front Seminar attended by hundreds of members as regimen students in Makassar, the Commander of the Armed Forces General Gatot Nurmantyo explained about the importance of collaboration between countries positioned in the Equator towards facing the global problems of the future. He warned that the current energy crisis presents the threat to change into an agricultural crisis. Moreover, these conflicts that take place in the region of Arab are expected to shift towards other regions in the equator with long cultivating seasons.
The shortage in the reserves of fossil energy to fill the production demands of the world big industries has put Arab region in a position of increasingly dangerous conflicts. The crisis in Iraq, Egypt, Libia, and Suriah triggered a wave of massive migrations, and humanitarian crisis awakened the consciousness of fundamentalists to demand urgent change. The violent outbreaks delivered to the wrong destination has spread to various parts of the world with traumatic explosions of terror actions having trounced Indonesia as well. These recent traumatic events open up new consciousness to review the collaborations between Indonesia and other countries.
Brazil is a country in the equator region with a long cultivating season which has successfully developed bioenergy as an alternative industry to fossil energy. Therefore, tightening the working collaborations with Brazil will nevertheless have a strategic value to answer the challenges of the future. In the process of tightening these relations, the long distance and the gap in cultural differences will be the main obstacle in the encounter with Brazil. Thus, the encounter between Indonesia and Brazil in Biennale Jogja Equator this time represents an effort to develop conversations to reciprocally understand the cultures of various countries through contemporary visual art.
During the first visit to Brazil in November 2016, Biennale Jogja team found an aesthetic moment in the 32nd edition of São Paulo Biennial, Live Uncertainty. This event did not just reflect the issue of political and economic instability due to the traumatic moment when the political power changed in Brazil in the previous year, but also wished to explore the issue of ecology as the base of the problem. Global warming and its effects on our habitats, the annihilation of species and the biological diversity have also largely contributed to the loss of cultural diversity. How to respond the issue of Live Uncertainty when the outbreaks of fear have influenced the psychological condition of the individual and collective is what stands as a proffered inquiry during the 32nd edition of São Paulo Biennial.