Forbidden Zone Krisna Murti
Apr.5th, 2008-Apr.23rd, 2008
an Exhibition by Krisna Murti
Krisna Murti is best known for his video art. In his exhibition at Gaya Art Space in 2005, entitled ?Video Spa Therapy for Everyday Living?, Krisna Murti offered visitors a personal video therapy where only 4 persons could simultaneously enjoy a 15 minute ?therapy? session.
In ?Forbidden Zone?, he tries to map or reconstruct the identity passed down by the Dutch colonial discourse whilst reinterpreting the concept of landscape. Murti?s exhibition also reflects the artists personal experiences with regard to the question of identity. He supposes that the landscape in ?Forbidden Zone? is only a small portrait of a broader cultural position or collective identity. It is an attempt by a Balinese-Indonesian artist to understand his own reality. It seems that in fact we the Indonesian people have yet to really discuss and understand this reality.
Forbidden Zone moves well beyond the documentary and may well be Murti?s most conceptually mixed and topically wide-ranging multi-media installation to date. Including video, photography and acrylic on canvas, Forbidden Zone incorporates a commentary about the on/off status of Indonesia as a no-go zone for international traveler due to the perceived threat of terrorism, with the examination of cultural criticism instituted by one of Indonesia?s pioneer modernist painters in the post-colonial period.
Analyzing Forbidden Zone chronologically, or starting at the allegory?s beginning, the viewer takes in the paintings, naturalistically rendered in acrylic and depicting the indigenous, unpopulated landscape.
Though easily deconstructed, Forbidden Zone as a whole is greater than its parts, functioning as an integrated piece because it speaks intimately of Indonesia on several different, but related levels. Evoking the archipelago?s complex and much fought-over cultural history, the installation recalls both that history?s colonial distortions, as well as those perpetrated by the Indonesian intelligentsia as a reaction to the colonists? perceptions. Through the suggestion of these discourses from the archipelago?s past, the artist provokes the viewer to question assumptions concerning the validity and truth of the construct of Indonesia, present and future. Meaning, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and the thoughtful, multi-tiered art of Krisna Murti ultimately empowers the viewer to ponder and decide for himself.