ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, 09|17|2011 – 02|05|2012
Krisna Murti
* 1957 in Kupang (ID), lives and works in Jakarta (ID)

For Odd For Ever
, 2010
Shop Theater #3, 2010
Street Theater, 2010
The Last Photograph, 2010
The Old and the Beauty, 2010

Krisna Murti’s series of photographs produced in 2010 shows individuals dressed in costumes of wayang characters from Javanese shadow theater. In Street Theater or The Old and the Beauty, the characters are placed in commercial urban settings. Through their colorful costumes and wayang dance poses, they not only seem out of place but also completely disconnected from the area and pedestrians that surround them. They are seen standing singly or in groups in front of large billboard advertisements such as in For Odd For Ever, or before boutique windows, as in Shop Theater #3. The contrast of larger-than-life super models captured in the billboards and the colorful liveliness of the dancers prompts questions about the representation of reality and fiction. This dynamic is accentuated in the work The Last Photograph, in which we see a group of ten wayang characters placed in front of a vast stretch of land directly facing the camera. What, at first glance, appears as a romantic setting in the Indonesian countryside reveals itself as a construction site, with bulldozers in the background plowing their way through the landscape.
The photographs represented in the exhibition allude to the push and pull between the eagerness for economic development and the wish to conserve traditional customs and values. The medium of photography is to not only employed here as a commentary on the consequences of consumer culture, but also as a means of documenting and preserving traditional forms which are slowly vanishing following increased tourism and urban development, and the ensuing global, visual language of gentrification. (AMB)


The Last Photograph, 2010


The Old and the Beauty, 2010