Social Design for Social Living
Warsaw / Jatiwangi / Jakarta
Social Design for Social Living is a two-year project based on cooperation between Polish and Indonesian artistic communities comprising artistic and research residencies, artistic activities at the crossroads of visual arts, design and architecture, and an exhibition at the National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta. Within the exhibition, we not only present selected socially engaged practices in contemporary Polish art but also the broader historical and social contexts within which these practices are embedded and created, as well as site specific works in progress created in Indonesia.
Since the origins of the project in 2014 and during subsequent phases, organized in a range of times and places, the potential to meet has been the focus of our attention. Sensing the possibility of synergy, we were seeking a space and conditions for cooperation between different artistic communities working within different cultural contexts. In Indonesia, we found partners to talk and act. They were mainly members of the Jatiwangi Art Factory (JaF) collective, with whom the Polish artists (designer Marta Frank, visual artist Robert Kuśmirowski and architect Maciej Siuda) have collaborated since 2015. Each of them related in their own way to the current context within which the JaF functions. Following observation during their visits at Jatiwangi, in collaboration with the community of the JaF collective and in response to the needs of community, the artists created new projects on site in the village of Jatisura. The ideas and works created are presented in the exhibition.
We want to make the works by Polish artists, the screenings’ programme, Cinema Lectures and public programme a starting point for discussion about the ways in which art becomes a tool for building community in different ways and in distant places. Through art, an encounter between two conflicted groups can take place (Run Free by Piotr Wysocki and Dominik Jałowiński), neighbours can create a monumental work of art together (Bródno 2000 by Paweł Althamer), actions of artists and the community can help preserve memories of time periods that are important for a big community – a place from which memory has been taken away for the sake of profit (Project Ursus Factory by Jaśmina Wójcik and Igor Stokfiszewski), real economic solutions for hard times can be worked out during the filming of an artistic video [Untitled (Broniów Song) by Alicja Rogalska]. Artistic actions can provide sustained social effects.
The public programme emerges from the actions of the Social Design Academy, whose members are students from Jakarta, invited artists from Poland, and activists and artistic collectives from Indonesia. Inside and outside the Gallery, work and presentation spaces merge to form a context for planned and spontaneous actions. The Acad emy started its activity before the opening of the exhibition, introducing the students to the broad historical and cultural context surrounding the works presented in the exhibition. The students act as hosts, guides and narrators of the exhibition. The audience will be able to meet them every day in the space of the Academy/Workshop.
The artists and designers work together with the Jakarta community – their actions on site place the exhibition’s content on equal terms with the presentation of finished works. The effects of those actions will be continuously presented inside the Gallery and its surroundings. We also invite exhibition visitors to participate in the workshops. Within the Academy, the Serrum collective from Jakarta is cooperating with the female artists: Alicja Rogalska, Iza Rutkowska, Magdalena Starska and Jaśmina Wójcik. The architect Maciej Siuda and curator Agnieszka Tarasiuk will give lectures and conduct workshops. We invited the Razem Pamoja Foundation to participate in a special project. Justyna Górowska and Adam Gruba, the artists collaborating with the Foundation, will perform in an art-shop space together with their invited guests.
The structure and content of the exhibition and events at the National Gallery, and the list of participants and co-workers are the result of many journeys and talks, the process of mutual recognition and close collaboration. Many happy encounters and discoveries have contributed to this exhibition. And we would like this exhibition to be a space for many more future meetings.
The Social Design Academy is a public program accompanying the exhibition that consists of meetings, workshops, performances and art-talks – held inside and outside of the gallery space. The Academy started with closed team-working sessions with Jakarta-based students and artists participating in the exhibition. The students are present every day of the exhibition within the Academy/Workshop space. They are the Hosts of the exhibition, ready to guide the audiences through art works, contexts and situations and deliver their own narrations of the exhibition. Participants of the Academy working in collaboration with various groups – Jakarta-based artists and collectives, activists, street musicians and citizens will engage the viewers in a series of activities exploring the notions of collaboration, urban activism, non-violent resistance and alternative economies from the perspective of a wide array of disciplines.