“Sang gunung menyerahkan jejaknya ke laut”, exhibits an alternative approach to historical archive, Bali’s historical political violence, colonialism, and global tourism through a video art exhibition
On 11 August 2023, CushCush Gallery Bali officially opened the solo art exhibition “Sang gunung menyerahkan jejaknya ke laut” (The mountain gives way to the sea), featuring the selected works of Bali-Australian artist, Leyla Stevens, curated by Melbourne-based Indonesian curator, Bianca Winataputri.
The exhibition focuses on counterpoint histories in Bali that continue to shape and contest its position as an island paradise. Connecting the island’s several historical trajectories and landscapes, the exhibition considers alternative archives that are embedded within Bali’s coastal landscapes.
The artist’s exploration of the space between documentary and fiction in her three moving image artworks, titled “Kidung/Lament,” “Our Sea is Always Hungry,” and “A Line in the Sea” presented in the exhibition bear witness to the political violence of 1965 in Bali through the stories of survivors, encompassing both human and nature, and the spirits who inhabit the natural world. The exhibition also offers a transcultural perspective on south Bali’s histories, particularly looking at the ways in which Bali’s coastlines have been reshaped by global tourism and sustained colonial imaginations.
“This exhibition is about Bali and for Bali, by a Balinese-Australian artist featuring multimedia format artworks, arguably still a relatively unconventional medium in the Indonesian art scene. While in the past many of Bali’s stories were told by foreigners, Leyla’s Balinese heritage makes for a more sensitive and local perspective. In that sense, this exhibition breaks many conventional practices. We hope the exhibition will be a trigger for many important and meaningful discussions and discourses to take place in Bali and beyond.” Suriawati Qiu, co-founder of CushCush Gallery.
“Sang gunung menyerahkan jejaknya ke laut” invites us to rethink our relationship to the landscape around us locally, regionally, and internationally, and the ways in which we are all, in one way or another, connected to each other. It is perhaps more important than ever to revisit these histories and reimagine our collective future.”
As an effort to provide a space for public discussion and enhance collective awareness as part of the exhibition, CushCush Gallery together with the artist and curator put together a series of free public programmes to be held during the exhibition period.
These activities include a historical tour of Sanur, guided by urban historian Gede Maha Putra, and three discussion sessions on August 13, 16, and 19, 2023, featuring artist Leyla Stevens, filmmaker and founder of Niskala Studio Wayan Martino, curator and writer Savitri Sastrawan, artist Made Bayak, anthropologist Ngurah Suryawan, writer and researcher Juli Sastrawan, and curator Sidhi Vhisatya.
Exhibition opens from Monday to Sunday, 09:00 AM – 5:00 PM except on public holidays (closed). Exhibition period 11 August – 10 September 2023, free admission.
All programs will be delivered in English and Bahasa Indonesia.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Indonesien.