Frans Prasetyo deposited ‘SIASAT’ – Artistic Tactics for Transgression on State Authority in the group Cultural Studies on Humanities Commons 1 year, 10 months ago
The 15th Jakarta Biennale’s curatorial premise, Siasat (Tactic) identified artists and art works which demonstrated how individuals and communities, especially in urban Indonesia, cope with social inequality, environmental pressure, and poverty. The resulting exhibition raised questions relevant to recent scholarship around relational aesthetics and participatory art practices, which highlights a tendency for such projects to inadvertently fulfil the desire of neo-conservative governments to transfer state responsibilty for social and environmental problems to society. This paper foregrounds the work of artist’s run social inititatives, Jatiwangi Arts Factory (JAF), and TrotoArt, who collaborated on the building of a futsal field under a fly over in Penjaringan, north Jakarta, presenting it through innovative documentation as part of the Biennale. JAF runs community-oriented art programs from a tile factory and home in a semi-rural area of West Java, aiming to develop local awareness of encroaching urbanism and capacity to participate in the decision making process. TrotoArt is an artists’ community that advocates for the occupants of legal and illegal settlements in the Jakarta’s frequently flooded north, running creative classes, workshops and discussion groups. This paper examines how the intentions of these artists complicate the paradigm of neo-conservative transferral of responsibility, by creating acts of ‘resistance’ that both admonish the state and exemplify the community development they expect from it.