Curated by: Marco Scotini
On Friday 25 September, the PAV Parco Arte Vivente opens Politics of Disaster to the public. Gender, Environment, Religion, the first Italian solo show dedicated to one of the most iconic and recognized Indonesian artists, Arahmaiani. With Politics of Disaster, the PAV continues its exhibition itinerary dedicated to ecological art in Asia and the relationship between violence against nature and violence against women.
Nonconformist, blasphemous and transgressive: this is how Arahmaiani has often been defined, who for decades has touched the themes of democracy, ecology and women's emancipation. The exhibition will take us through the history of Indonesia, a fascinating and complex territory that too often, in the West, is seen only through the commercializing lens of mass tourism.
While deeply spiritual, Arahmaiani's work does not spare radical accusations against the power of religious institutions. Her works systematically attack the status quo and this cost her imprisonment and the ban on exhibiting her works until the end of Suharto's military dictatorship. Her works fully embody the ecofeminist perspective by combining the analysis of the exploitation of the body and work of women and the exploitation of natural resources. It is by placing the woman's body and the body of the earth at the center of his logic, that, whether through irony, or through tragic representations, or collective adventures full of enthusiasm and hope, Arahmaiani's works try to deconstruct unjust social laws , showing an alternative that contrasts the spontaneity and effectiveness of dialogue with ideologies of violence and competition in the global market - which the artist calls “desperate rat race”.
At the physical and conceptual center of the PAV exhibition space, we find Memory of Nature (2010 - ongoing), the result of intense research conducted by Arahmaiani together with a community of Buddhist monks: borrowing the shape of the Borobudur temple in Java, is a contemplative and meditative work, which evokes the memory of the universe and emphasizes the value systems that motivate us to respect
the nature. The second part of the exhibition then proceeds back in time, proposing various performances that Arahmaiani has dedicated, in the last thirty years, to the themes of the commodification of the woman's body, the environmental destruction, the obsession of the market.