Saturday (9/10) around 10.00 a.m the Biennale Forum Curatorial Practice Panel A bench was attended by the moderator and speakers. From the left of the audience, you can see Gesyada Siregar (Curator, Gudskul) as moderator, Aaron Seeto (Director of Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara), Eka Putra Nanggalu (artist, KAHE Community, Maumere), and Dicky Takndare (artist, Udeido Collective, Papua).
After a brief opening by the host and statements by the Director of the Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation, Alia Swastika, the discussion was immediately escorted by a moderator. As a start, Gesyada explained a little about the theme of the discussion “Out of Museum: Collection and Decentralization.”
The forum was held offline at the Ajiyasa Hall, Jogja National Museum (JNM), and online via Zoom Meeting. The discussion that morning discussed the museum’s curatorial strategy as a platform for decentralizing knowledge, instead of mummifying cultural artifacts. The discussion took place in two languages, Indonesian and English.
Furthermore, to see the role of museums in Papua and artistic practice, Udeido re-imagined the artifacts of his regional culture. Gesyada invited Dicky to start the discussion.
Dicky regaled to us the character of Arnold Ap and the role of the Mambesak group for the continuity of the Papuan arts and culture. And how the Museum Loka Budaya suffered a setback after Arnold Ap’s death, caused by a gunshot in his back.
“After Mambesak stopped, there was not much movement in the museum. As I said, Udeido moves beyond and Udeido takes a contemporary art approach to its works. So we dug up old concepts from books, notes. The archives, the data we find, we use to see the current situation in Papua,” said Dicky.
Dicky added that Udeido was formed with the same spirit as Mambesak, a folk music group founded at Cendrawasih University, to see political and environmental issues in Papua from the perspective of art.
From Papua, the moderator then shifted to Maumere. Eka then explained how the practice of reviving the Bikon Blewut Museum was carried out. He did this work with the KAHE Community in managing the “Reimagine Bikon Blewut” exhibition, which is part of the Docking Program of the Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 2021.
“Our intervention is that we want there to be knowledge dissemination from the (Bikon Blewut) artifacts. Second, we want to rebrand the museum, give it context, and give the public more free access,” said Eka.
After Eka’s presentation, Gesyada allowed Aaron to express his views regarding power relations and the decentralization of art.
Aaron quotes British artist Rasheed Areen, “He’s saying that in the attempt to make global exhibitions if we wanted to decentral and destabilize that “center” and “periphery”, we must also be aware of the power dynamics that we have to also change those in our qualities.”
According to him, to decentralize “central” and “peripheral” art practices, we must be aware of the power dynamics that we have.
After the presentation of all speakers. The discussion continued by opening a question-and-answer session. In addition to Panel A, today’s Biennale Forum will also hold a Panel B discussion “Migration, Land, Home” at 02.00 p.m.