Opera installation about sabotage and censorship in art

Holland Festival Proms - Dark Play

Jompet Kuswidananto

The chandelier falls, and smithereens are scattered across the floor. The Indonesian artist Jompet Kuswidananto has created an opera installation especially for the Proms and the Recital Hall of The Concertgebouw with its imposing chandelier. He was inspired by the falling chandelier scene in The Phantom of the Opera. Videos show newly recorded songs about the obstruction, sabotage and censorship that art and artists have had to endure over the years, particularly in countries where freedom of speech is under threat. Kuswidananto has previously exhibited work at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the Taipei Biennial, and the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. His work is about a changing world and the role of art in this.

Holland Festival Proms

For a whole day, from noon until late at night, there will be a vibrant mini-festival in The Concertgebouw. The Holland Festival Proms consists of five concerts and an installation. From a concert with virtual reality to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and the swinging music of The Nile Project

From the brothers Lucas and Arthur Jussen playing Karlheinz Stockhausen to an opera-installation by the Indonesian artist Jompet Kuswidananto. The day is being hosted by comedian and television presenter Klaas van der Eerden. In the intermissions there will be performances by conservatory students, as well as short introductions to the concerts. For only ten euros per concert – or less for those who buy a day pass – you can hear the latest and most adventurous music from around the world. There’s an afterparty that night for everyone who can’t get enough of it.

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Festival focus: music from Indonesia

Following the focus on Turkey and its neighbouring countries (2015) and on the Edges of Europe (2016), this year’s special focus is on music from Indonesia. In the islands, many styles and genres exist next to each other in a fascinating way. We present a selection of contemporary work: noise from the streets of Yogyakarta and

folk from strictly Islamic Aceh, to modern  Indonesian composers. 

We show collaborations which transcend boundaries from artists from different corners of the archipelago. Rahayu Suppangah wrote the music for Setan Jawa, a new silent dance film by Garin Nugroho. Indonesian composers and musicians work with Ensemble Modern from Frankfurt in Ruang Suara. We are presenting A Night in Indonesia in Paradiso, with the latest music from the Indonesian underground, including the EDM duo Filastine & Nova Ruth and Senyawa’s acoustic metal. At the Holland Festival Proms the visual artist Jompet Kuswidananto is presenting an opera installation about censorship in art. The audience can also enter the Temple of Time by the Indonesian-Dutch composer Sinta Wullur. The context programming explores topics such as Javanese mysticism and joint Dutch and Indonesian historiography. 

Discover the sound of modern Indonesia.

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Biography

Jompet Kuswidananto (Yogyakarta, 1976) is a visual artist. After the regime of Suharto fell in 1998, he joined Teater Garasi, which focuses on contemporary theatre. Kuswidananto's work is rooted in culture, history and traditional customs, and reflects on topics such as politics, power and mass movements. Music and video play a major role in his artwork. He exhibits his work within Indonesia as well as further afield. His work has, for example, been exhibited in the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam.

He is mainly known for his mechanical music systems, in which instruments are played automatically. In Java's Machine: Phantasmagoria, pairs of shoes are lined up. Above them, pieces of military uniform and drums are suspended. In the installation After Voices, a long line of shoes represents participants at protest demonstrations who have either disappeared or died. In an interview with the Asian online magazine ART iT, Kuswidananto says, 'The history of Indonesia is incredibly complex. It has undergone many transitions, from Hinduism to Islam, from colonial to post-colonial, traditional to modern, dictatorship to democracy. Our cultural identity is unstable and constantly changing. The idea for the hollow figures came from this view of man trying to develop a strategy for negotiating the competing tensions that affect Indonesia.' In 2013, Kuswidananto won the Prins Claus Award with Teater Garasi.

Credits

concept
Jompet Kuswidananto

This performance was made possible with support by