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Eastern European artists to participate in the main exhibition of Biennale Jogja 17 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

6th of October - 25th of November in partnership with Jogja Biennale Foundation invites 12 participants and initiatives from Romania, Serbia, to Ukraine and Slovakia in the main exhibition of Jogja Biennale 17 under the project “Reclaiming Sociality around Land and the Rural” co-financed by The Romanian Cultural Institute through the Cantemir Programme. The biennial runs between 6 October and 25 November 2023 in various venues across Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Invited participants: Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Anca Bucur, Dan Vezentan, Eduard Constantin, Ilona Németh, Jelica Jovanović, Nikita Kadan, Ovidiu Țichindeleanu, Raluca Voinea, Raluca Popa, The Experimental Station for Research on Art and Life. Curated by Adelina Luft.

Biennale Jogja 17 continues the experience of investigating localities and embracing the discourse of decolonization that were strongly raised during the first round of equator projects (2011-2021), each edition entering in direct dialog with countries positioned in the Equator belt – from India, to Arab Region, Nigeria, Brazil, Southeast Asia, to the Pacific. The new series introduces Translocality and Transhistoricity as the working framework to develop various experiments in curatorial visions and practices that attempt to continue pursuing the common goal of taking part in the rewriting of world art history and contributing to the projects that strive towards decolonisation within the contemporary. The Second Round enlarges the localities of the Global South and invites for its first iteration practices and artists from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Eastern Indonesia, among others, curated by a group of curators from Romania (Adelina Luft), Nepal (Sheelasha Rajbhandhari and Hit Man Gurung), and Indonesia (Eka Putra Nggalu).

For this first iteration Biennale Jogja will be located in village areas in Yogyakarta, to create an encounter of contemporary art practices with local urban and rural communities, narrating the politics of locations from the periphery. There is a rise of recontextualization of the “village” as political identity and location that mainly follows the consequences of post-pandemic life and that includes a discourse of human resilience and a new paradigm of ecological knowledge. The Biennale will bring around 70 artists with various approaches and cultural backgrounds, with the emphasis on connection to local context and collaboration with communities.

“Titen: Embodied Knowledge, Shifting Grounds” is the title chosen to reflect diverse but shared movements around the Global South practices and the historical connection to South-to-South trajectories. Borrowed from Javanese language, where the villages reside, and to bring this event closer to the local community, Titen or Niteni in Javanese interprets as an ability or sensitivity to read signs from nature. Titen science is usually used to read natural phenomena before a disaster occurs, or to decide an action needed to respond the nature. Titen science is based on a pattern of repeated observations of nature, so that this pattern will later become a reference for interpreting natural phenomena and to establish a particular scientific narrative from the local belief. Choosing this word has been underlining the curatorial framework on decolonizing knowledge production that operates as a resistance to dominant western methodologies.

“Departing from the multilayered understanding of decoloniality in Eastern Europe, the works of the artists and initiatives from the project Reclaiming Sociality around Land and the Rural and those of other East European artists invited in the biennial address processes of reframing values and practices which have been erased and absorbed by neoliberal forces in the past decades – of sharing, sustaining, repairing, or reclaiming the commons and sociality around land, the rural, or collective/communal forms of organization. The works reveal affinities and intersected trajectories with the location of the biennial, from the colonial routes of sugar production in central Europe and Java, the hidden or speculative narratives of female solidarities during the Non-Aligned Movement and the socialist era, to the present human and nonhuman resilience in the face of war and deplition of resources, precarious socio-economic conditions in the periphery, and the formation of discursive resistance towards the hegemony of Western art canons. By means of including interdisciplinary and collaborative works and practices, the curatorial framework tries to propel a rebirth of the commune, the need for acknowledging seasons of harvest and rest, and the embodied knowledges and solidarities emerging from specific socio-historical contexts in relation to soils, land, and territories.” – Adelina Luft (Curator)

The Romanian participation in Biennale Jogja 17 is supported by

This project is co-financed by the Romanian Cultural Institute through the Cantemir Programme – a funding framework for cultural projects intended for the international environment. The Romanian Cultural Institute cannot be held responsible for the content of this material.

For more details:
Adelina Luft, Curator