ARTJOG 2023 is being held again at Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta, from 30 June to 27 August 2023. This year, the highly-lauded annual exhibition takes the theme of Motif: Lamaran (Motif: Proposal) and involves an impressive 73 artists, consisting of 51 adult artists and 22 young artists.
The theme “Motif: Proposal” was picked as the basis for knitting the ideas and the patterns of artists’ works as well as inviting them to express the ideas and the motivations behind their works. The ARTJOG curatorial team is headed by a collaboration between Hendro Wiyanto, a Jakarta-based curator and a writer; and Nadiah Bamadhaj, a Malaysian artist based in Yogyakarta. When choosing the featured artists, the curators searched for works that were performative, tangible, have a rich visual approach and of course, have an intriguing visual story. In addition, the ARTJOG 2023 curatorial team also invites young, registered artists to understand elements of Indonesian textual history through three Indonesian canon works: “Laut” (1967) by Sanento Yuliman, “Abracadabra” (1974) by Danarto, and “Misteri” (1983) by Toeti Heraty.
This year, ARTJOG has invited Mella Jaarsma to the Commissioned Artist program. Mella Jaarsma has contributed significantly to the world of art in her career spanning more than 30 years. Mella Jaarsma’s works explores many materials to reveal and question social phenomena and elements of Javanese and Indonesian life. Her works often use the human body as a central motif. The body serves as a bridge between the works and its audience and creates intense tension between the visitor and the work.
ARTJOG showcases a limasan (a traditional Javanese house) that houses Mella’s works with three curatorial approaches. First, the architectural concept of a Limasan house which represents a liquid space that accommodates meetings between individuals or communities through hanging out. Second, works that are based on the second skin concept that coloured Mella’s works from the 2000s. The second skin concept presents works in the form of robes made of traditional materials that represent and comment on phenomena in Indonesian society. The third approach presents Mella’s works which refer to architecture and space. Highlighting the relationship between the body, the space, and the architectural concept of limasan, this commissioned artist’s installation provides a space for contemplation on issues of identity, polarisation, and clothing, a trend that has strengthened in the atmosphere of Indonesian society in the last decade.
Apart from Mella Jaarsma, several artists such as Novi Kristinawati, Ugo Untoro, and Dicky Takndare are also participating in ARTJOG this year. Novi Kristinawati’s installation work for ARTJOG is site-specific, responding to the stairs inside the Jogja National Museum building. The concept that underlies these two works is a method of dealing with conditions that conflict with one another, which she calls “fast thinking” and “slow thinking”. Ugo Untoro, in his series of works of inscribed motifs on the surface of the stone temples, affixes new meanings that are not related to one another. On the one hand, the existence of boulders marks objects, images, and archaeological artefacts such as inscriptions. However, on the other hand, these inscribed stones contain contemporary messages and issues. These issues reflect the various information and misinformation that abound in today’s social media world. Dicky Takndare’s large-sized works large combines the idea of being inside and outside for political prisoners in West Papua. It combines the greatness of the Liberation of West Irian monument made by sculptor Edhi Sunarso in Jakarta during President Soekarno’s regime in 1960s and the detention room as the abstract body of that monument.
Responding to the enthusiasm for children’s involvement, ARTJOG Kids is also being held again, facilitating children’s works and activities, placing their works alongside the work of professional artists. ARTJOG specifically invites artist Erwin Windu Pranata to create interactive works that involve children in the process. Erwin has collaborated with children from Rumah Belajar Ummasa, Bandung, aged 4 to 10 years, to respond to the existence of the banyan tree. From the results of the children’s sketches, Erwin then materialised them in the form of 3-dimensional balloons that one could ‘play with’. In addition, the Exhibition Tour for Kids program will also facilitate special exhibition tour sessions for children with a more interactive and fun approach so that children can actively participate in exploring works of art.
In addition, 2023 also marks a new step in ARTJOG’s commitment to the mission of creating a more inclusive art event by presenting a Pusat Layanan Disabilitas (Disability Service Center) (PLD). This service aims to expand access for persons with disabilities to enjoy and participate in an art event at ARTJOG, while ensuring that people with disabilities are not excluded from art events and spaces. Hopefully, the involvement of friends with disabilities in art events can function as a medium for education and awareness about disability, eliminating stereotypes, increasing understanding, and promoting equality and acceptance of individual diversity.
Another exciting program is ‘performa•ARTJOG’, which this year presents four sub-programs, namely: ‘Main Performance’ featuring artists with artistic practices dedicated to the history of performing arts in Indonesia; ‘Connect’ is a pre-show activation program for the Main Performance artists to connect with the public on various aspects and elements of performance in depth; ‘Explanatory’ which brings together visual arts and performing arts through a collaborative creation; and ‘Special Performance’ which opens a stage for the public to perform. A performance piece from Teater Garasi entitled “Waktu Batu:Rumah yang Terbakar” will act as the opening for performa•ARTJOG. This work is a cross-media show (theatre x video game x cinematography) about ecological grief that escalates into ecological rage.
In line with the continuation of the event in previous years, ARTJOG 2023 also presents supporting programs such as Young Artist Award, Exhibition Tour, Meet the Artist, Artcare, and Jogja Art Weeks again. Jogja Art Weeks will function as a channel for information, publication, and networking across art events in Yogyakarta and its surroundings by presenting a schedule of art events, coverage, recommendation, and guide for enjoying diverse and exciting art experiences.
ARTJOG has contributed to immensely to Yogyakarta’s tourism, becoming a reason in itself to visit the city, seeing hotel rooms and length of stay increase throughout its duration. The Impact Study of ARTJOG 2022 by Ike Janita Dewi and Tri Subagya noted that while ARTJOG was being held, the spending rate of visitors from outside of the Special Region of Yogyakarta increased 3-4 times (390%). In addition, during ARTJOG, the average duration of stay of domestic tourists in Yogyakarta doubled, from 2.01 days to 4.08 days. Outside of the numbers, ARTJOG is one the key events in the showcasing of Indonesian artists on a national and international stage, and is a celebration of the country’s creative individuals.
To attend ARTJOG 2023, the public can buy tickets for Rp. 75,000.00 for adult and Rp. 50,000.00 for children aged 6-16 years. Meanwhile, children under 6 years old are exempt from the entry fee. Exhibition ticket can be obtained through direct purchase on location every day during operating hours 10.00 – 21.00 WIB. Information and registration for 2023 ARTJOG Public Program can be accessed via www.artjog.id.