Baik + Khneysser presents a two-person installation, featuring works by Mella Jaarsma and Jompet Kuswidananto, in the “Presents” section of the 2020 Armory Show.
Works by Dutch-born, Mella Jaarsma, include a photographic work and performative installation, both titled, Feeding The Nation. Her performance driven garments are to be used throughout the fairs operating hours and build on the artist’s continued practice of constructing tapestries made of cultural signifiers. The works here are meant to rethink basic human needs and questions how our bodies cope with a world, where excess has become common place. Inspired by local historical sculptors, these pieces pose a patriarchal framework to address the relationships between those who serve and those who consume.
Similarly, Jompet Kuswidananto focuses his attention towards the fluidity of the body and imbues installations of banal objects with conceptual discourses around collective hardship and cultural uncertainty. Although physically devoid, the equestrian figure, Saint, holds a strong presence as the unfilled regalia presents an absence that is perhaps more visceral than its suggested material form.
Our booth’s curation further examines each artist’s relationship to the body politic as well as their use of void to contemplate its multiple allusions to Indonesia’s checkered relationship with foreign influence and government reform. From references to the Communist Purge of 1965 to suggestions of cultural and ideological fluidity, this installation exposes the human form as a malleable construct– transformed endlessly by trauma. This focus on reinvention poses increasingly complex and interconnected challenges that address globalized modernity as something equally haunting and hopeful.