[TimorLesteStudies] Public Seminar (Melbourne): 'Contemporary Art from 1990s Indonesia and Timor-Leste: A Space of Convergence' : 12-1pm, Friday 8 July 2016, Penang Room, Level 3, Library, Hawthorn Campus, Swinburne University of Technology.

Michael Leach mleach at swin.edu.au
Tue Jun 21 15:29:22 AEST 2016

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School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities / Swinburne Institute for Social Research - Seminar Series

Presenter:  Leonor Veiga, Leiden University
Title:  Contemporary Art from 1990s Indonesia and Timor-Leste: A Space of Convergence
Date:  Friday, 8 July 2016
Time:  12:00 - 1:00pm
Venue:  Penang Room, Level 3, Library Conference Room

This talk aims to address similarities in content and form of art practices in 1990s Indonesia and Timor-Leste. While differences are notorious, finding common ground proves to be a harder task. Yet I affirm that artists from both countries, especially those considered second class citizens - the ethnic Chinese and women in Indonesia and the Timorese - were equally repressed, silenced and fought against by the New Order totalitarian regime of Suharto (1965-1998).

In Indonesia, Fx Harsono was making political installations against human rights abuses such as the banishment of media opposition to the regime. Indonesian artist Arahmaiani emerged in this decade as a controversial figure that disrupted the status quo that the regime tried to maintain orderly through force. Her performance work was direct and brutal. Her political ideas lead to the regime sentencing her to death.

In Australia, Maria Madeira from Timor-Leste was exiled when she learned about human rights abuses in her country, that she feared would be lost forever due to the cultural genocide propagated by the Indonesian military. Similarly, Dadang Christanto was exiled in Australia, due to the extreme political message against human rights abuses in Indonesia.

In this talk, I will try to explain the whys and hows, the priority given by artists to political content - a normal behaviour in the region of Southeast Asia - and explain how it has been conveyed through traditional arts. I propose that the usage of traditional arts characteristic of this decade was not simply symptomatic of identity politics in a world coming together after the end of the Cold War, but rather it constituted a form of avant-gardism specific to the region, a circumstance that I call the 'Third Avant-garde.'

Leonor Veiga is a PhD candidate at Leiden University. Her dissertation The Third Avant-Garde: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia Recalling Tradition, analyses contemporary art practices from the region that reprocess elements of traditional culture. The dissertation is supervised by Prof. Kitty Zijlmans and Prof. Pieter ter Keurs.   Her curatorial projects (2006-11) include exhibitions in Indonesia, Mozambique, London, Macau and Lisbon. Her writing on the arts (2010-15) has mainly focused on Southeast Asian contemporary art. Essays published include "The Third Avant-garde: messages of discontent" in Southeast of Now (forthcoming, http://southeastofnow.com/), "Movimentu Kultura in Timor-Leste: Maria Madeira's Agency" in Cadernos de Arte e Cultura (2015, http://cadernosaa.revues.org/821) and "Suddenly we arrived: polarities and paradoxes of Indonesian Contemporary Art", in Indonesian Eye: Contemporary Art from Indonesia, SKIRA Editore S.p.A., (2011).

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School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities<http://www.swinburne.edu.au/health-arts-design/schools/arts-social-sciences-humanities/>

(c) Swinburne | CRICOS number 00111D

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