Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Arahmaiani



Arahmaiani. Etalase, 1994.

Arahmaiani (Indonesia, b. 1961) Display Case (Etalase), 1994–2007 Display case with photograph, Buddha icon, the Qur’an, Coca-Cola bottle, fan, Patkwa mirror, drum, box of sand, and condoms, Lent by the artist Arahmaiani’s work deals with such complex topics as discrimination, intolerance, and violence against women in her native country of Indonesia. Since the early 1980’s, Arahmmaiani’s works have generated hostility on the part of Islamic community leaders and political authorities resulting in her short imprisonment in 1983. Her installation, Etalase, brings together disparate symbols of Islam, Western culture, and sexuality. Displayed under glass, the objects seem indistinguishable from a traditional museum vitrine, but stand as quintessential symbols of religion, sex, and capitalism. During the first showing of Etalase in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1994, members of a Muslim fundamentalist group were so offended by the juxtaposition of a condom and the Qur’an that the work was immediately censored and death threats leveled at the artist. Out of fear of her safety, Arahmaiani fled to Australia for the next few years, where she remained in exile. Incidentally, this is only the second time since 1994 that this work has been exhibited. The first was at the Asia Society in New York in 1996.--Amy Brandt, Exhibition Assistant, Global Feminisms


nationalism, identity, Muslim, Islam, Qur'an, consumerism


Bandung, Indonesia

No contact information provided for this artist.

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