So on Thursday, 3 December, we went to Cata Odata to chill out and speak with Ratna Odata and Djunaidi Kenyut. Cata Odata is an arts space dedicated to showcasing contemporary art from Bali and East Java. Having only begun in 2013, it’s a young arts space much like Ketemu. And it has an interesting residency programme as well, of which they’ve already run two editions. Each annual one-month residency brings in two artists and one arts writer, and at least one resident has to be Indonesian. Each resident then keeps a physical journal which will be displayed during the exhibition at the end of the residency to showcase the art-making/art-writing process. Arts writer Richard Horstman was there too to share his take on the local arts scene.
In the evening, we drove to Sudakara Art Space where a panel discussion opened the exhibition Eternal Line featuring works by Mangku Muriati and Teja Astawa. The panel discussion took place in Bahasa Indonesia, and needless to say, I couldn’t quite follow it and got lost halfway through.
Being lost can be quite a productive process though. The concomitant misinterpretation that takes place is often built on layers and layers of assumptions. When you bother to clarify though, those assumptions unravel and you become much more aware of your own biases. Misinterpretation doesn’t need to happen across different languages either. And this is where Ketemu’s mission to just bring different people in conversation becomes important. In our meetings and conversations with artists, we constantly find ourselves negotiating and renegotiating common grounds.
Photos by Ajeng Anggrahita.