Jakarta Biennale is a grand event biennial international contemporary art. In 2015, this event carries the theme “Got Forward, Backward Taxable: Act Now”. With this theme, the Jakarta Biennale was about reviewing the present, without getting caught up in the nostalgia of the past and dreams of a future utopia. Curated works are works that focus on the economic, social, and emotional people now in Indonesia. Jakarta Biennale wants to frame how people in different cities and the environment and behave towards the present through his actions.
There are three major issues that link the whole exhibition and art project in Jakarta Biennale. The first is the use and abuse of water, which could be the source of life is also a disaster. There is also a focus on the history, how the past affects the present, how the memory and traditions shape our behavior today. The third issue is the effect of the restrictions of gender roles in society and how each of us negotiate even confront the forced identity-which often leads to acts of violence. Through the works in Jakarta Biennale 2015, we would like to highlight the achievements of citizens, no matter how small it is, in the middle of the living conditions of an increasingly complicated.
Jakarta Biennale 2015 curated by Charles Esche, who has been involved in many important international bienial like Gwangju Biennale 2002, the Istanbul Biennale in 2009, and Sao Paulo Biennale in 2014. He collaborated with a team of young Indonesian curators from different cities: Anwar ‘Jimpe’ Rachman (Makassar) Asep Typhoon (Jakarta), Benny Wicaksono (Surabaya), Irma Chantily (Jakarta), son of Hidayatullah (Banda Aceh), and Interrogation Afiaty (Jakarta).
In addition to a number of exhibitions and art projects in the city, the Jakarta Biennale also organizes various support programs such as seminars, workshops, public education, and stage performances for all citizens of Jakarta and the world
Jakarta Biennale 2015, Lifepatch working with the Society of Citizens Stren Kali Surabaya. This community initiative is an organization of residents who live in Wonokromo, Surabaya. There are so many problems in the region, for example, prostitution, interference of political parties in the policy of citizens, lack of infrastructure (electricity and water), legal settlements, and evictions. Of the many problems that exist, taking into account the limited time to work with them, Lifepatch chose to work with residents on issues of clean water sources. This problem is seen quite ironic considering Bratang Tangkis taps are located right next to the residential area (only separated by a wall with a length). However, the residents did not get clean water from taps. This makes their use river water (allegedly) in Surabaya polluted industrial waste, particularly waste paper industry. The assumption is caused by the paper buliran that rise to the surface of the water after residents collect water from rivers and handling “water cleansing” to taste (using alum).
Realizing the complexity of water management, Lifepatch also collaborate with local communities and scientists based in Surabaya. Collaboration is an investigation conducted water quality of the river and constructing a physical prototype filtration for water purification. This collaboration results distributed to residents in the form of filtration that has been so even in the form of workshops for residents for the manufacture and maintenance of the filtration. Another activity is the Moringa tree planting with residents. Moringa tree itself serves to purify the water biologically. Of course, the results of the new plantings can be seen in the future.
Lifepatch work with residents Stren Kali, communities, and local scientists were then embodied in the form of installations in the Main Exhibition Jakarta Biennale 2015. This installation displays that are contradicted by the reality of life in the settlement Stren Kali Surabaya. Is the expectations of citizens who want clean water for the daily life of those who became the inspiration for this work. The main symbol is lifted is a Moringa tree. Besides being used in the project, this tree is also a symbol of protector of citizens and biological water purifier. There is also a swing that symbolizes activity and regeneration of local people. In addition, dirty water and swimming pool water, filtration created Lifepatch, and green grass so the symbol of the land needs for the life of residents in the settlement. Documentation of the project in Stren time will also be displayed in the form of images and videos in this installation work.
The river is no longer a “lifeline” for a city. In the very rapid development of the city, the river is generally treated as a backyard. The river is treated as a garbage dump. Considered as the “slums” and “exile community”, there are many social and environmental problems in the area along the river, especially in big cities. Not to mention, the government tends to look away from the reality of the matter. Case legality that makes people unable to gain access to basic infrastructure, such as clean water, so the main problem facing. That’s what so background for the projects undertaken by Lifepatch in Stren Kali.
Lifepatch himself has worked with river water problem in Yogyakarta for years in Jogja River Project (JRP). JRP is an endless project that was initiated in 2011. The problem of clean water is a major problem faced by many people living in settlements along the rivers. The river is used as a source of water for residents, also used as a location for a good discharge of domestic waste and industrial waste, especially in urban areas.
Working with residents Stren time, the problem of clean water is a major problem posed by them. Lifepatch attempted to respond to these submissions by trying to apply the formal and informal science related to the handling of river water. Aware that the problems in the region can only be solved by its own citizens, in this project, Lifepatch only contribute to divide science and mediates to introduce local creative potential cooperating continuously
More info of lifepatch participation on Jakarta Biennale 2015 click here.