30 November 2019 - 12 January 2020
Written by Hamada Adzani
Meeting the artists who are showing in Reciprocities has encouraged me to re-question the aesthetic nature of art. If aesthetics are often associated with something nice and beautiful, how to categorize the connection built between the darker-themed works and the audience? For me, it is not merely a matter of taste. There are basic things that support such connection.
In general, fine arts and aesthetic studies have developed far beyond what Kantian thinkers have predicted. The modality of art continues to change: from its attachment to the medium (medium-based specific), to become dependent on the discussion (discourse-based specific), and now seems to be largely determined by concrete socio-cultural issues (context-based specific). The focus of the value also changes. Quoting from Bambang Sugiharto (2013) –the focus of value on art has changed from a matter of beauty, to a technical problem, then to a matter of meaning, and then again to the impact of sensation, and finally, to the process of mutual significance between the artist, the work, and the appreciators.
This paradigmatic shift shows the resiliency of art in adjusting itself with social and cultural needs along with their alterations that occur in society. The significance between the artist, the work and the appreciator affect the sense of connection arises when appreciating the work. John Dewey saw a close connection between art and daily experience (Art as Experience). For him, art is rooted in the intense and intelligible experience, simply just like experiencing impressive food, as an example. The artwork also helps to formulate and to rearticulate human experience, teaching us how to look and to feel. Atreyu Moniaga, Ayu Rika, Izal Batubara, Triana Nurmaria, and Valdo Manullang bring up their personal chest of knowledge about their empirical experience to the public. After being accumulated, they are then presenting the symbolic form. There are times when the symbolic presentation seems subjective, but they also often look universal. In an even more concrete term, the tension within the self-complexity is drawn straightforwardly through the work of Triana Nurmaria and Atreyu Moniaga. Atreyu arranges the emotion among the objects very well in each of the work. He wants that every shape drawn congruously touches the audience. In his work, he carefully measures the composition –so that his medium of objects appear to be like a tangle of endless labyrinths.
Shifting from the self-matter, the body becomes the main focus of Ayu Rika who examines the wounds on the surface of the skin. She sees the surface of the skin as a medium to store the memories as well as the tragedies experienced by women. Ayu Rika attempts to represent a number of events experienced by women. In contrast to Ayu Rika, Izal Batubara and Valdo Manullang seem to try to negate the reality and the will of representation. Izal attempts to detain his work from a single meaning and representation toward the object he assembled or in Kant's study of 'ethical autonomy'.