Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Kembali Djokdja Kembali

An exhibition on art documentation in Yogyakarta in the last 32 years entitled “Kembali Djokdja Kembali” was held at Museum Benteng Vredeburg, Yogyakarta, September 29-October 3, 1999. It was the collaboration of Cemeti Art Foundation, [aikon!], Kebon Binatang Art Support, Rumah Budaya Semesta, Ford Foundation, and Museum Benteng Vredeburg.

Introductory Citation
An approximation of 300 documentation; posters, catalogues, tickets, clippings, photos, and leaflets will be presented in the exhibition. Certainly, this number is not fairly fantastic as there are a lot of art events in Yogyakarta in the last 32 years. As a result of the limited time, not all of the art event documentation can be obtained. However, we strive for not basing the exhibition material on the monumental phenomena regarding something considered “monumental” will not mean anything without the side of “not monumental”. They all have the same importance in the process of art in Yogyakarta but unfortunately, very few people taking the role of recorders toward all cultural events. History is then associated more through the oral tradition relying on memory. It is one of obstacles we face.

Difficulty in Tracing Document!
(A Note from the Research Team)
By Nunuk Ambarwati and Jompet
A Researcher of Musical Printed Documentation

For almost 2 months of going back and fro to search for posters, catalogues, tickets, and so on in the field of music, I encountered some points. According to me, comparing to colleagues from theater or visual arts, the music artists rarely collected posters, tickets, or invitations. They assumed that they did not need collecting them. Most of them said “Say, the posters are entirely distributed!” since posters functioned as publication media to be distributed or stuck and just got passed on or torn in the streets at last. Sometimes, some artists were reluctant to collect them because the design was not attractive. The awareness to collect them as documentation was not deep among music artists. If any, there was only one or two of them who documented his debut attentively. Even, there were some artists whose documentation done by the mothers, wives, or fans.
Another issue from this searching was the reluctance of the resource artists to lend some of their documentation with the reason that the duration between the due day and the exhibition day was quite far. They lent them closing to the D day. It related to the issue of documentation security or the fear of damage. There were also some artists who made a curation on their own documentation regarded as important. In reverse, it did not mean that some documentation they did not give to us were unimportant, did they? Sometimes, when I came the artist was taking a trip abroad in unpredictable time or studying abroad. They were even out of contact or deliberately to be out of contact. Gee, it was resentful! There was a touching moment, an important one like “agreement of artists in… making an option toward the government” considered as historical but the artist who collected the documentation had passed away. So, it could be presented orally only.
In conclusion, our documentation searching had not reached all music genres in Yogyakarta. It was because of the limited time, no documentation of artists at all, and the individual capability. Sorry! However, the people involved in this project were basically welcome and supportive meaning that they could see the idea was magnificent and raised the awareness on the importance of documentation.

Issued in the exhibition catalogue 32 Years Yogyakarta Art Documentation “Kembali Djokdja Kembali”, Yogyakarta, 1999,
page 4-5
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