FROM BANDUNG TO BERLIN. If all of the moons aligned

SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
24 Sep 2016 - 18 Oct 2016

FROM BANDUNG TO BERLIN. If all of the moons aligned

Designed by Natasha Gabriella Tontey.

From Bandung to Berlin: If all of the moons aligned builds on the vocabularies of “political astronomy” by means of dis/connecting transnational narratives according to critical and geopolitical amplitudes during the Cold War.

While revolving in the gravity of a multi­center world, From Bandung to Berlin: If all of the moons aligned pins down incongruent points of these alignments, complicating desires for solidarity and cohesion through artistic forms, processes and contemporary thought practices. At SAVVY Contemporary, the constraints of prevailing historiography and the impulses of democratism of the future are accessed through the curatorial period of From Bandung to Berlin (FBB). With collaborating agents, artworks, archives, lectures, reading groups, the bare gallery space accumulates sweats and breaths as bodies and objects struggle and recover from a place of weakness and fear. Each contribution presents as a ghostly figure and their task is to exorcise the unrepresentable narratives in history and engage with the ghostly through the spectral transformation of different objects, bodies and spatiality.

The enlistment of these knowledge­-based aesthetic interventions is foreclosed in the course of From Bandung to Berlin: If all of the moons aligned in order to suspend timelines and alternatively procure waves of showing and discursification. From a place of toning, shaping, and even detoxification to the mesopolitics of protection and defences­­, From Bandung to Berlin: If all of the moons aligned lays over a political astronomy approximating the fictitious and factitious times and places of 1955 Bandung, 1989 Berlin, and our contemporary moment.

Curated by Brigitta Isabella and Renan Laru-an

Participanting Artists: Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina, Annika Eriksson, Theo Eshetu, Lyra Garcellano & W. Don Flores, Ladislava Gažiová, Ho Rui An, Ho Tzu Nyen, Hiwa K, Timoteus Anggawan Kusno, Eva Olthof, Karol Radziszewski/Queer Archives Institute, Cathleen Schuster and Marcel Dickhage, Sina Seifee, The Bureau of Melodramatic Research, Mi You, Virlani Rupini with Leon Tan 


The exhibition is closely linked to a platform for knowledge accumulation:

September 23 | 7-10pm
Opening and performance by Ho Rui An

Solar: A Melt Down is a lecture that takes off from the sweaty back of a mannequin of the anthropologist Charles le Roux that the artist encountered in the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. From this image launches a series of investigations that attempts to get to the “behinds” of Empire and more crucially, the merciless sun behind it, beating down on the imperial back. Probing this “solar unconscious” underpinning the European colonial project, the lecture further considers the white woman and the punkawallah (manual fan operator) as figures constitutive of a “global domestic”—an all-encompassing, air-conditioned planetary interior. Spiralling into the contemporary moment of terrestrial meltdown, it finally seeks to reclaim sweat as a way of getting out of ourselves and in touch with the Solar.


September 24 | 2-6pm
UNCERTAIN GEOGRAPHIES. With a lecture-performance by Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina; and a talk by Doreen Mende

Cold War politics split the world into two large blocs and shed a new meaning to the term East and West, not only as a cartographic cardinal points but also a geopolitical symbol of place-making based on ideological alignment. “From Bandung to Berlin” is a loose framework that points out erratic transglobal-historical coordinates which were enabled by the political circuit of Cold War, the force of gravity amongst global ideological movement and the development of communication and space exploration technology. In this session, the spatio-temporal distance between Bandung 1955 and Berlin 1989 is revisited by tracing moments of alignment between the national and the international, the local and the translocal, the bilateral and the multilateral. The connections and disconnections of these encounters will supply an assemblage of meanings that gives new sense to the way we understand geography as a living border that are influenced by the mobility of bodies, capital, ideas and affect.


September 25 | 2-6pm
RESTITUTION AND VOCABULARIES. Discursive program with Ho Tzu Nyen, Sina Seifee, and others

The speculative approximations in From Bandung to Berlin gather processes of abstraction for a number of issues and parameters. While this procedure points us to alternative ways of showing and discursification, the project also recognizes how it has suspended timelines and procured foreclosures to constitute new vectors and references. Through artistic interventions, readings, and discussions, this open session leans on the question of restitution and its valences and limitations in projects of recomposing vocabularies.




From Bandung to Berlin (FBB) is an open and shared immaterial platform of collaboration that revolves around the interval of historical space and time between the first Asian ­African Conference in Bandung 1955 and the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989. The first iteration of FBB is titled From Bandung to Berlin: A Social Fiction and was materialized as an interactive website (frombandungtoberlin.com) and was re­-lived as a new multivariable installation titled From Bandung to Berlin: The Guest and The Ghost, at Guangdong Times Museum, an expansion of its first socialization in an exhibition format at “South by Southeast” co­-curated by Patrick D. Flores and Anca Verona Mihulet for Osage Art Foundation in Hong Kong.

Since its launch in 2014, From Bandung to Berlin has expounded and worked around the contributions of Adjani Arumpac, Amanda Lee Koe, Brigitta Isabella, Chang Yuchen, Muhammad Al-Fayyadl, Renan G. Laru-an, and Tan Zi Hao.

Brigitta Isabella (b. 1989, Jakarta) is a member of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, a research collective with focus on the intersections between theory and practice and experimentations to produce critical knowledge through cross-disciplinary encounter, research- action, artistic intervention and vernacular education within and across community spaces. She is also a co-editor of Southeast of Now, a new refereed journal to be published in late 2016.

Renan Laru-an (b. 1989, Sultan Kudarat) is a researcher and curator based in the Philippines. After completing psychology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, he founded DiscLab | Research and Criticism, a multidisciplinary platform and ‘virtual’ organization for writing, theory, discursive activities, and small-scale, long-term research on Philippine contemporary art and visual and network culture. He is a member of SYNAPSE – The International Curators’ Network at HKW in Berlin. Recently, he is a Re-Directing East curator-in-residence at Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw.

FBB is partly supported by the Goethe-Institut Indonesia and the Goethe-Institut Phillipines.
Research Partners: The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center at the University of the Philippines-Diliman



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