The Dark Remembers

90cm x 130cm x 90cm

Curator's Eye

Jompet Kuswidananto creates thought-provoking installations that explore the links between Indonesia’s cultural history, and the complexities of living in a modern, globalised world. The installation presented here – comprised of a tangled mass of lightbulbs and antique candle holders, surrounded by an infinite darkness - touches on Indonesia’s past violent dictatorship, post-colonial discourse and elements of Javanese folklore.

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The installation works on the memories of dark places that echo the unfinished businesses of Indonesian history. Places like old wells, deep forest, and karst caves are strongly related to the hidden violence of the past, especially during the dictatorship. Many of those places are believed to be the home for the restless spirits of the unknowns so that the living people regularly commence rituals to pay tribute.
The installation of lights and sounds compresses the memories of darkness that have been seeping into hymns, spells and other audible materials in some particular Javanese ghosts-related rituals.