The third day of the Biennale Forum on Sunday (10/10) was quite different. The concept is no longer a seminar, but a Focus Group Discussion (FGD). The stage which was usually filled with only two to three speakers, this time seemed full. Naturally, the speakers who attended were representatives of several collectives.
Ayos Purwoaji and Elia Nurvista as moderators opened the discussion with light greetings. One by one the speakers were invited to come on stage.
“We’ll have a focused discussion later, so we can be more relaxed than yesterday’s forums,” said Elia.
Collective growth in Indonesia since the early 2000s, one of which is driven by the many state-owned art institutions, is considered to be stalled until it finally provides space for young Indonesians to be creative and display their forms of artistic expression. Art collectives and alternative spaces emerged which later grew after the New Order era. Today, exactly 20 years later, it is very common to find in various regions in Indonesia the emergence of art collectives as well as alternative spaces. Ayos delivered the narration as an introduction to the discussion forum.
The discussion also wanted to see if there’s still a relevant relationship between the growth of art collectives and art institutionalism, which is often considered unable to voice the forms of expression of art workers?
One by one, the collective representatives expressed their opinions. In this discussion, the participating collectives were A Pond is The Reserve of an Island, SkolMus, KAHE Community, Broken Pitch, and Indonesia Art Movement.
The practices that were applied by the art collectives themselves have different methods. Some collectives refer to themselves as communities. Collectivity in art collectives does not have clear enough boundaries. Broken Pitch mentions collective is a platform. And also Adi, one of the representatives from Broken Pitch added that they are a playground.
“There might some people who see the Broken Pitch as talent scouts. Right?” Ayos joked, which was greeted with laughter from the speakers.
Each collective has its urgency in its formation. SkolMus was formed because of anxiety about multimedia access. People who studied multimedia finally got together and formed SkolMus in Kupang City. Initially, SkolMus’s work varied from essays, photos, videos, to writing classes. Over time, SkolMus’s work now focuses only on photography.
Another case is A Pond Is The Reverse of an Island which was formed by several different collective members. They focused on refugees in Indonesia.
“Actually this forum means a lot to me. I’ll be rethinking this matter when I got home. But, this is an interesting theme. KAHE at a certain point sees the art as a language so that its forms and models can vary,” explained Eka as a representative of the KAHE Community.
One of the issues to be brought to the Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 2021 is efforts to decentralize. Decentralization is now only centered on certain centrums. Collective artists themselves have various ways of dealing with this.
“I think decentralization is something that will keep repeating itself. Not only in the East, in Java, there will be new centers emerging again. It doesn’t need to be discussed. The point is what you want to make and improve in each area. And that will be a characteristic of each region,” said Frengki Lollo, a representative from SkolMus.