Indonesian art collective Taring Padi made headlines around the world last month. The collective’s 8×10 metre banner, “People’s Justice” (2002), on display as part of the prestigious art exhibition documenta 15 in Kassel, Germany, was dramatically covered and subsequently taken down. The decision to remove the banner from its prominent position in the city’s town square came after German and Israeli commentators labelled it antisemitic.
How did this work come to be on such prominent display? Who were the curators of documenta 15 and what part did they play in the decision to display this and other similarly controversial artworks in the three-month long exhibition? What has been the fallout for the Indonesian artists, and for the international art community at large?
In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions and more with Dr Wulan Dirgantoro, lecturer in Art History and Curatorship in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Elly Kent, deputy director of the ANU Indonesia Institute. They recently wrote on the controversy for New Mandala.
In 2022, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Dave McRae from Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society (CILIS), Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University, and Tito Ambyo from RMIT.