Saturday, March 2, 2024 | 14:32 WIB

NU-Abstract: Political Aesthetic; Seeing art that piques politics


IO, Jakarta – Speaking of art painting there are various kinds of genres of art that become a reference or a distinctive character for some artists. Nadi Gallery held some art exhibitions focusing on abstract artist groups from Bali’s “”NU-ABSTRACT” practiced by a generation of painters originally incorporated in Neo-Pitamaha. Neo-Pitamaha itself was originally a group, after which the group opened itself more widely about its range and discussion on its artistic practice (from Balinese painting to painting paintings into the wider realm).

Thus, the group became an open discussion space that allowed every other individual to participate in the Neo-Pitamaha discussion. This group generated many ideas in many other perspectives when reading or assessing a painting. This time Gede Mahendra Yasa, Kemalezedine, Ketut Moniarta, and Putu Bonuz Sudiana presented an idea of ​​the abstract concept in painting. The response of these artists is an abstract notion as a rational context that refers to an abstract concept of modern art.

This group tends to avoid abstract turning into a belief or abstract based on anti figurative. The idea emerged and solidified the approach of this group to disassemble an art of formalism. Therefore, these painters embody the abstract as an anti iconoclasm awareness movement. This idea was inspired by the 80s movement in New York about “back to painting”, a bridge between radical abstraction, and a re-investigation of a larger history of painting and a more subjective and minority approach. In this case NU-ABSTRACT frees to explore cues, improvisational forms, relational compositions, allusion figures and landscapes, historical and cultural allusion.

In general, abstract works of visual art are visual expressions using line, color, texture, and field / space elements. (photo: IO/Aldo)

In general (creations), abstract art is the language of visual expression using line elements, colors, textures, field / volume space (if three dimensions) without any tendencies but conveying a sense of representing an artist following aesthetic ability, ethics, also the knowledge (epistemological) it has. There are three important things in the abstract art of impression, improvisation and expression. Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky analogized abstract paintings with similarities to music. Understanding abstract painting can be likened to listening to instrumental music. We can feel the beauty of the musical notes without being burdened with verbal charges. The works of hand-cut paper of Mujahideen artists Nurrahman, his work in hand cut paper became the basis of the Mujahideen exhibition which took the theme of “Dogmatic Desire”. In the theme, Mujahideen seemed to make a camouflage by using arabesque ornament forms derived from imagined images from AK 47 rifles and bullets into arabesque motifs.

Hand cut paper appeared in the fourth century while the Han dynasty came to power when Cai Lun (China) invented the paper. The oldest hand cut paper artwork with symmetrical forms was discovered in the sixth century in Xinjiang. Its development continued until the Tang dynasty. The art of paper cutting began to penetrate the continent of Europe in the thirteenth century when paper began to be known there. In the form of the motive, Mujahideen made his works (hand cut paper, installation, videography) as a presentation of violent political discourse in the conflicts of religion in human history from the beginning to present day. A sign born from war.

In a hand-cut paper entitled “Proud”, Mujahideen made a coffin complete with skull bones. The coffin is a translucent glass that is adorned with symmetrical ornaments formed from gunpowder repeatedly. The same thing was done by Mujahideen on hand cut paper with human figure wearing a veil titled “A Lady”. Between the two works the Mujahideen wrote “death is aesthetics”.

A large installation work in the form of a pendant lamp is displayed in a room. Again Mujahideen made holes in lampshades with symmetrical ornaments formed from gunpowder repeatedly. Glance from afar it looks beautiful, but when observed more accurately the glow of dazzling lights that came out of the lampshade or lights that came out and caught on the wall of the room is a form of gunpowder. A magnificent death drama?

Mujahideen chose a more basic subject or basic instinct in each human being. In the view of Mujahideen, there is always a desire in man to destroy and kill his fellow man. In the record of human civilization, the result of the envy of Habil became the first man to be killed by his brother Qabil. Since then people have been killing each other for personal, groups and mass interests. Ironically, various religions of the heavens are sent down to earth to regulate human life to be more civilized it has instead made killing as if legal or even common.

Instinct is a pattern of behavior and reaction to a certain stimulus that is not studied but has existed since the birth of a living thing and is obtained by hereditary (phylogenetic). Natural Desire in the understanding of Roland Barthes as a cultural value constantly constructed, even diverted in the life of a society, as long as civilization or human culture exists everywhere. For Barthes, nothing is completely natural but all occurring culturally, constructed by an individual, group and class, whether intentionally or not. (Aldo)


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