GW event: Art objects and nationhood in Indonesia

The Elliott School’s Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the Department of Anthropology are co-sponsoring at talk on Companionable Objects, Companionable Conscience: Reflections on Sunaryo’s Titik Nadir with Ken George, professor of anthropology and director of the School of Culture, History and Language at Australian National University.

When: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
Where: The Elliott School of International Affairs. GW

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room, 1957 E Street, NW, Room 503
Washington, DC 20052

Although this is increasingly a time of transnational solidarities, an unwavering commitment to, or concern about the nation has been a longstanding and primary factor in the shaping of art works and biographical art writing in Indonesia. This talk explores the summons of the nation in the making of “companionable objects” and a “companionable conscience” in Indonesia’s art world. I focus in particular on an installation presented by the acclaimed Indonesian artist, Sunaryo, a 1998 work called Titik Nadir (“The Low Point”), put together as Soeharto’s regime fell apart. The evocative objects and iconoclastic gestures that made up Titik Nadir in some ways subverted or exceeded the “conscionable” and oblige us to reflect on what may be spent or lost in aligning one’s heart and art with the nation and a national art public.


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