‘Berubah Benyah’, an exhibition by Andre Yoga, Dea Rahajeng, and Rama Indirawan, is very different to all the shows we’ve done before. And we’ve done a lot over our eleven year history.
For a year, that’s had as many high points as Charlize Theron’s Mad Max hair do, the re-opening of the Deus Gallery came as something of a complete shock to most of us.
First off, with the exception of one show we managed to slip in, the Deus Gallery’s been in lockdown for eighteen months. We ain’t ever had a break this long, it's like we had an arm chopped off! There was also dialing back the unveiling time to five PM in the arvo, the weird thing about that was we were all dressed up and it was still light outside but it did give us four solid hours before the curfew kicks in here. There was also the fact it was a Saturday night (well actually afternoon?!), not a Friday, the day of the week we normally open the gallery. Mind you, most didn’t notice this one though.
Which brings us to the most important difference, the art and the artists. Our blank gallery has been transmuted into this conspicuous composite of the three; photographs, distortions and installations are by Dea, word painting, and word play, that would be Rama, and paintings of Indonesian icons and memory collages they are by Andre. Three polarised pieces of a puzzle, perfectly fitting, that just works so bloody well together.
The name of their show was derived by adding the Indonesian word Berubah, meaning change, to the Balinese word, Benyah, meaning shattered or broken into pieces. The artists offered up their dialogues on the transformation of destruction through their paintings, photographs, writings, and all that’s in between.
A statement from the artists about the show.
Dotted about the room, interspersed with their art, they’d inserted a number of sensory interactive elements; boxes full of wool, rice and playdough where you insert your hand, an internally lit box with a slot where you take the role of voyeur, a cassette Walkman to listen to soundscapes with no start nor finish, and an old manual typewriter where you get to clank out your own personal message to no one in particular, one stroke at a time. All of which allowed the visitors to nod, remember, interact. It left most with a knowing look or smile.
The gallery filled as the sun set. No one specific group or crowd but people drawn from diverse backgrounds, starved of cultural elements, of mental intimacy, of experiencing culture with a capital C. This wasn’t just another bar or restaurant opening but a forum of discussion and dissection, but that’s not to say smiles and laughter didn’t ricochet about the night.
The right music was something they’d known all along they would have to have a hand in, and Maira Yamanaka didn’t disappoint, working her magic on the decks. She’s a talented DJ friend of the artists who they had invited down to help gel things together. More and more arrived, filling the gallery and spilling into the backyard, both women and men dressed for the occasion. Nine o’clock came around all too soon.
The show runs in the gallery at the Deus Ex Machina Temple of Enthusiasm from the 2nd until the 31 October 2021.
Be there, see, feel, and reflect.