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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Arahmaiani

Bandung,
Indonesia

Arahmaiani (b. 1961) was born in Bandung, Indonesia. She received a B.F.A. in 1983 from Bandung Institute of Technology and studied at both the Paddington Art School, Sydney, Australia, from 1985 to 1986, and Akademie voor Beeldende Kunst en Vormgeving, Enschede, Netherlands, from 1991 to 1992. Her work has been exhibited throughout the world at such venues as Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Hokkaido Asahikawa Museum of Art, Japan; Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore; Der Rest Der Welt, Pirmasens, Germany; World Social Forum,; Impakt, Utrecht, Netherlands; Singapore Art Museum; and Asia-Australia Arts Centre, Sydney. Additionally, she has held international performances in Australia, Brazil, Cuba, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, Sweden, and the U.S.A. Arahmaiani participated in the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia, in 1996; the Bienal de La Habana, Havana, Cuba, in 1997; the Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France, and Werkleitz Biennale, Germany, in 2000; the Sao Paulo Bienal, Brazil, the Kwangju Biennale, South Korea, in 2002; and the Venice Biennale in 2003. She currently lives and works in Jakarta and Bandung.

Feminist Artist Statement

To be a feminist means one must face formidable challenges from the conservatives and the fundamentalists. Conflict happens because the religious conservatives and fundamentalists don’t want to loose the legitimacy of their power! And the second challenge is the impact of globalization, where the woman and her body tend to be exploited. Her body may be bought and sold in the cheap labour market. The authorities and the global economic decisions makers often stand on the side of the conservatives and the fundamentalists in their attitude towards those groups who are weak.

Arahmaiani is included in the Global Feminisms exhibition, curated by Maura Reilly and Linda Nochlin.

<p>Etalase</p>

Etalase

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

Etalase

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

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