We Move Amongst Ghosts

We Move Amongst Ghosts

Mitra Museum Jakarta

View of We Move Amongst Ghosts, Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2020. Courtesy of the artists and Kayu Lucie Fontaine. Photo: Evelyn Pritt.

March 9, 2020
We Move Amongst Ghosts
February 11–March 15, 2020
Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics
[Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik]
Jl.Pos Kota No.2, Pinangsia, Kec. Taman Sari
Kota Jakarta Barat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota

Kayu | Lucie Fontaine and Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta [YMMJ] are pleased to present We Move Amongst Ghosts* at the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is Kayu’s eleventh project and the first in a series of exhibitions in collaboration with YMMJ that will take place in buildings that are part of the Jakarta museums. We Move Amongst Ghosts | Justice, includes works by Arahmaiani, Ashley Bickerton, Chris Bunjamin, Marco Cassani, Rafram Chaddad, Cian Dayrit, Fendry Ekel, J. W. Heydt, Agnieszka Kurant, Goshka Macuga, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

The show looks at the interface between object and space on the one hand, and memory on the other, particularly focusing on how objects and spaces conjure historical and communal memories. This underlying idea harks back to Kayu’s fifth project in 2016, Ritiro, in which a group of artworks “went” on a retreat from Bali to Java, thus suggesting the idea that spaces and objects, things without life in themselves, might have a kind of existence—an internal life—of their own.

We Move Amongst Ghosts | Justice is built on the definition and meaning of the museum, particularly its role as a nexus between the past and the present. Our starting point is the conservation and documentation work of YMMJ. In 2018, YMMJ commissioned the Indonesian artist Chris Bunjamin to photograph as documentation seven of the 11 museums, all of them prominent landmarks in the Indonesian capital and the Indonesian national consciousness.

As one of the documented sites, the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics—the venue of this exhibition—brings the artworks on show into a dialogue with the museum’s past and its urban context, Kota Tua (Jakarta’s historically-charged old town). The show recalls the museum’s earlier role as the highest court of justice in colonial Indonesia. A mental space—“Justice”—is created in the main hall of the museum, within which the artworks are displayed. The overall effect is a play on the building’s former function as a judicial seat, but one now in which artworks present themselves before the court of public opinion. It is an invitation to explore the memories conjured up by both spaces and objects, memories linking our past and present.

*The title is taken from the article “We Move Amongst Ghosts” by British artist Laura Grace Ford to introduce her book, Savage Messiah (Verso Books, 2019), which gathers together a complete set of the artist’s fanzines to date. The book is both an angry polemic against the marginalization of the urban working class and an exploration of the cracks that open up within an urban context.

Lucie Fontaine
Dubbed “an artist, writer, curator, and collector with excellent taste” by the New Yorker (October 2015), Lucie Fontaine is an imaginary “employer” conceived by Tel Aviv-based curator, editor, writer and educator Nicola Trezzi and Los Angeles-based artist Alice Tomaselli. Both call themselves Lucie Fontaine’s employees. Later on, New York-based writer, curator and studio manager Elena Tavecchia and Bali-based artist Marco Cassani joined Lucie Fontaine’s staff. An “entourage” has since grown around Lucie Fontaine, creating an independent community of artists, art professionals and art connoisseurs.

Kayu is Lucie Fontaine’s branch in Bali, and was founded by her employee, the artist Marco Cassani. Kayu, as an artist-run-space, explores new ways of collaborating with artists and of presenting artworks, by conceiving and producing contemporary art exhibitions, reflecting upon the concept of power embodied through the host-and-guest relation.

Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta
YMMJ envisions Jakarta museums, starting with those under the Jakarta provincial government, as centres of education, entertainment, and recreation; where citizens of and visitors to the city will be able to gain historical, artistic, and cultural knowledge and experience. The organisation works with stakeholders and the provincial government to aid these museums in their development towards better infrastructure, human resources, museum management, curatorial content, public programs, as well as marketing.


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Mitra Museum Jakarta
March 9, 2020

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