A group of “artist, writer, curator, and collector with excellent taste”. As dubbed by the New Yorker (October 2015), Kayu Lucie Fontaine along with Yayasan Mitra Museum Jakarta (YMMJ: Friends of Jakarta Museums Foundation) are pleased to present “We Move Amongst Ghosts” at the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics in Jakarta, Indonesia. It will be held on February 11 – March 15, 2020.
It is Kayu Lucie Fontaine’s eleventh project and the first in a series of group exhibitions in collaboration with YMMJ. The series, showcasing artists from Indonesia and abroad, will be held at a selection of Jakarta museums.
For the inaugural show of “We Move Amongst Ghosts”, Kayu Lucie Fontaine will showcase the artworks by Arahmaiani, Ashley Bickerton, Chris Bunjamin, Marco Cassani, Rafram Chaddad, Cian Dayritt, Fendry Ekel, J. W. Heydt, Agnieszka Kurant, Goshka Macuga, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.
The show looks at the interface between object and space on the one hand, and memory on the other. In particular, Kayu Lucie Fontaine focuses on how objects and spaces conjure historical and communal memories. This underlying idea harks back to Kayu’s fifth project in 2016, “Ritiro,” in which a group of artworks “went” on a retreat from Bali to Java, thus suggesting the idea that space and object, things without life in themselves, might have a kind of existence—an internal life—of their own.
“We Move Amongst Ghosts | Justice” builds on this suggestion in relation to the definition and meaning of a museum, particularly its role as a nexus between the past and the present. It all starts from the work of YMMJ since 2017 in conservation and documentation. In 2018, YMMJ commissioned the Indonesian artist Chris Bunjamin to document seven of the eleven museums belonging to the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, all of them eminent landmarks in the Indonesian capital and in the Indonesian national consciousness. These include: The National Monument (Monas), The Jakarta History Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics, The Textile Museum, The Wayang Museum, The Prasasti Museu, and Gedong Joang ’45.
Bunjamin produced a series of seven black and white photographs of these buildings, conveying a personal impression of Jakarta’s collective memory. As one of the documented sites, the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics—the venue of our exhibition—brings the artworks on show into a dialogue with the museum’s past, its permanent collection and its urban context, Kota Tua (Jakarta’s historically-charged old town).
The show recalls the museum’s earlier role as the Raad van Justitie, which served as the highest court of justice in colonial Indonesia. A mental space—with “Justice” as its theme—is created in the façade, portico and main hall of the museum, within which the artworks are displayed. The overall effect is a play on the building’s former function as a judicial seat, but one now in which artworks present themselves before the court of public of opinion. It is an invitation to explore the memories conjured up by both space and object, memories that form the linkages between our past and present.
“We Move Amongst Ghosts” will be on view from February 11 until March 15, 2020. For further information, contact Kayu Lucie Fontaine at firstname.lastname@example.org or YMMJ at email@example.com
The title of “We Move Amongst Ghosts” is taken from the article “We Move Amongst Ghosts” by British artist Laura Grace Ford. The article introduces her book, Savage Messiah (Verso Books, 2019), which gathers together a complete set of the artist’s fanzines to date. Part graphic novel, part artwork, the book is both an angry polemic against the marginalization of the urban working class and an exploration of the cracks that open up within an urban context.