Monday, January 19, 2009

Remembering the City Spaces

By : Irma Chantily

Time brings change. It's the rapid changes since the 70's until now , that makes Jakarta a metropolitan city, with its tall buildings and various public facilities emerging everywhere.

However those changes happen so quickly, and it's as if we can't keep up with all the latest developments around us. Unoccupied land has been transformed into office buildings, old houses into malls and city parks have now become new housing settlements. The places that we once knew have vanished over a short period of time. Time is not the culprit, as it is constant. It's the city's developments that has gone so swiftly.

Digging up the public's memories and redefining what a city is; these are the basic ideas behind the Specific Sites Project Workshop, one of the programs of the Jakarta Biennale 2009.

According to the Jakarta Biennale 2009 Program Director, Ade Darmawan, the project started off from a workshop, that emphasizes on the interaction and collaboration of the participants that come from various different backgrounds. As a Jakartan, they all had to look for certain places that they can still remember but no longer exists??. Throughout the workshop they explored what kind of artwork would be possible for public spaces, also discussed and debated their ideas so they can produce their work based on there different ideas and social backgrounds.

The workshop was held from November 2008 until January 2009. Ardi Yunanto the coordinator for the Battle Zone and the Specific Sites Project says , the workshop was held intensively for a week at Ruang Rupa, a contemporary arts community. After six meetings, each participant held their routine gatherings to discuss the technical issues and permission to display their work.

After the workshop comes to a close, their works will be placed in several public places. You can see them in 11 locations across Jakarta at the : Grand Senen Theater, Jakarta Kota Train Station, the place below the underpass in front of Tebet Station, the Transjakarta sky walk shelter at Dukuh Atas, economy class train en route Tanah Abang - Serpong, and Tanah Abang Station, National Monument, three nail prone areas in East Jakarta, toll road walls in front of Cilandsk Town Square, texts at the Sarinah Intersection, and four motor theft prone areas along TB Simatupang Road.

What have these young artists created? What memories are they trying to revive and how do they redefine city and public spaces? We'll soon find out and enjoy their work in mid January 2009. Come and appreciate them!

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