Museum MACAN Partners Up With Five Art Organizations For “Present Continuous”

Initiated as a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN) has unveiled its latest collaborative contemporary art project that brings artists and artistic communities together from all across Indonesia titled “Present Continuous.”

Work in progress by Udeido Collective

“The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to imagine new ways to connect artists and audiences, as well as to think differently about research and collaboration,” explained Aaron Seeto, Director of Museum MACAN and project director of the collaboration. “Over the last 16 months, as we checked in with our colleagues around the country and around the world, and shared stories and ideas about ways to work and move forward, we came to the realization that organizational collaboration, where we can bring together curators who are working on the ground in their own cities and neighborhoods, could be one way to work through these structural limitations. This is what led to ‘Present Continuous.’”

Work in progress by Muhlis Lugis

The exhibition itself was developed through collaborations with five art organizations, namely Biennale Jogja, Indeks, Jatiwangi art Factory, LOKA and Makassar Biennale, who have commissioned five artists to develop works for the exhibition. Furthermore, the project is supported by five co-curators—Anwar Jimpe Rachman, Arie Syarifuddin, Elia Nurvista, Putra Hidayatullah, and Rizki Lazuardi—from each organizations home area.

Speaking of which, the exhibition will include works by four artists and two art collectives, namely Arifa Safura & DJ Rencong (Banda Aceh), Mira Rizki (Bandung), Muhlis Lugis (Makassar), Udeido Collective (Jayapura) and Unit Pelaksana Terrakota Daerah (Majalengka). It will explore the overlay of Indigenous perspectives, collective memories, histories of sound and its relationship to ideas of the neighborhood, mythology and plants, along with artist-led “creative” industries that have resulted in real policy change and economic development.

Rooftile kiln inspiration by Unit Pelaksana Terrakota Daerah (UPTD)

Most importantly, “Present Continuous” will be presented across physical spaces and online platforms, opening up strands of conversation represented by different perspectives and practices. “Present Continuous” will run from December 18, 2021 until May 15, 2022 with strict health and safety protocols at the museum. As a final touch, a range of integrated digital activations and virtual guides will be presented alongside the exhibition for those who are unable to visit the museum in person.