Musée des Arts Contemporains de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

Jompet Kuswidananto

On Paradise

As part of the EUROPALIA festival which this year is celebrating Indonesia, the MAC’s will be presenting On Paradise, a brand new installation by the transdisciplinary artist Jompet Kuswidananto (born in 1976, lives and works in Yogyakarta). Questioning the connections between politics and religion, this work refers to a crucial episode in his country’s history: the rebellion by a section of the population against the colonial authorities in July 1888 in the region of Banten (Java). Using archive documents, Jompet Kuswidananto emphasises here the major role played by religious leaders who, interpreting a series of natural disasters around that time (the eruption of Krakatoa, the malaria and plague epidemics) as the portents of “the end of the world”, mobilised the Indonesians against the infidel colonials, calling for a “holy war” and thus promising them their place in “heaven”. But the installation specifically designed for the large room in the MAC’s is more related to theatre and phantasmagoria, playing out this troubled time through various, visually striking symbolic objects, such as the chandeliers strewn across the floor which singularly illustrate the underlying causes of the fall of the colonial power and a local aristocracy who had adopted its status symbols.

Europalia Indonésie

As part of the EUROPALIA festival

Ministère Indonésien