The 25 years of Cemeti Art House book will be published to capture and record the phenomenon of contemporary art in Indonesia. This book will follow two channels for the focus of discussion. The first is Cemeti’s point of view as an actor in Indonesian contemporary art, without any distance to remove themselves from their history; Cemeti presents their own perspective on their role within Indonesian contemporary art. The second viewpoint is the reading of others outside Cemeti, who examine, criticize and discuss the reception of Indonesian contemporary art and Cemeti’s role.
This publication’s emphasis on critical discourse aims to contribute to the production of intellectual cultural criticism. During the last year Cemeti Art House has organized several focus-group discussions with artists, curators and researchers of different generations. The outcome of these discussions will be published. An important part of the book is the documentation and articles related to the Turning Targets program during 2013.
Mella Jaarsma / Nindityo Adipurnomo fragment from article ‘What are we waiting for’, Art Asia Pacific, issue Nov. Dec. 2012 :
The last five years have brought significant changes to the scene in Indonesia, notably the trends for “going global” and the rising influence of market forces. These developments have forced us to reconsider the relevance and function of art. At the moment, it seems like we cannot influence the things happening around us, which results in a situation of passive consumption. If art had once been a way to look at things differently and to alter our perspectives, today the questions are: What do we expect from art? What is its function in a society such as Indonesia? Do we still need art to challenge us?
The arts are in crisis, and we hope for a reaction—any initiative that could shake things up. But, to be honest, those in the art community who are voicing concerns are mostly 35 years and older. Meanwhile, the younger generation moves around either in a comfort zone or in confusion, not wanting to be patronized by the previous generation and at the same time not having enemies to rebel against. We shall have to wait and see what breaks this stalemate.