This exhibition celebrates the artistic interactions of Indonesian and Australian artists with prisoners who are incarcerated in Indonesian jails. Collectively, their interests center around the socially beneficial roles played by the prisoner as artist/artistic collaborator, and the artist as prisoner. Questioning the role of aesthetics in socially-engaged exhibitions, they ask: how might the consideration of aesthetics contribute to political readings of the works on display?
Dipping in the Kool Aid grows from an experimental laboratory run by artists working predominantly in Klung Kung Prison, Bali. Among the artists and collaborations included is Djunaidi Kenyut, who invites prisoners to make self-portraits by etching their own facial features onto postcard-size mirrors. Mary Lou Pavlovic’s Preserving Life Workshop, undertaken with female prisoners, develops a large wall work featuring flowers and deceased butterflies that are donated by the local butterfly park. Imam Sucahyo creates a large multimedia drawing with his imprisoned friend upon visits to Tuban Prison East Java Prison. Elizabeth Gower creates three hundred and sixty-five fragile paper collage “rotations” with prisoners, with materials sourced from discarded packaging in the prison cafe.
The exhibition also includes works by Indonesian artist Angki Purbandono, who was incarcerated for one year in Yogyakarta (2013) for smoking marijuana. Angki, refusing to accept his imprisonment, famously declared instead that he was undertaking an artist’s residency, and taught a guard how to take photographs. While in prison, Angki also established the Prison Art Programs, a group of inmates and ex-inmates who exhibit art inside and outside the jail. The group has formed The Prison Art Foundation (Yayasan Seni Penjara) and artworks by the founding members are also included in the exhibition. Borrowing its title from the old American prison slang for entering uninvited into a conversation, Dipping in the Kool Aid also features studio works by internationally renowned artists Rodney Glick and Mangu Putra.
Dipping in the Kool Aid Opening Reception
Saturday, March 4th. 31st., 2018, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tony Raka Art Gallery
JI.Raya Mas No. 86 Mas, Ubud
This event is free and open to the public.
Dipping in the Kool Aid, organized by Mary Lou Pavlovic, celebrates the artistic works of prisoners in Indonesia, and highlights the humanitarian values of prisoners’ being able to move with their minds, when space is confined and time seems placed on hold. Evolving from a prison arts program, the exhibition features collaborative works made by artists and current and ex-prisoners.
apexart’s programs are supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Buhl Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation, Affirmation Arts Fund, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Fifth Floor Foundation, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.