Indonesian Palaeography, A History of writing in Indonesia from the beginnings to 1500 AD

In ’60s and ’70s, several orientalists, mostly from Germanic countries, have undertaken, led by the senior leadership of Professor B. Spuler under the auspices of editors at Brill, the vast project of writing a “manual”. The result is the publication of Handbuch der Orienialislik, which in several issues has taken stock of Western knowledge about… Continue reading Indonesian Palaeography, A History of writing in Indonesia from the beginnings to 1500 AD

Sudden Death (Alvaro Enrigue, 2016)

A duel between Caravaggio and Quevedo, or how a tennis match connects worlds. Since when did people actually play tennis? And since when have tennis shoes been around, today the most socially acceptable and most widespread footwear worldwide? And how did you make the balls? The Mexican author Álvaro Enrigue, born 1969 in Guadalajara, México,… Continue reading Sudden Death (Alvaro Enrigue, 2016)

David Medalla (1938-2020)

Peripatetic Filipino artist David Medalla, a pioneer of kinetic sculpture and participatory art performance, died in Manila on Monday, December 28. He was 82. He developed an early reputation as a poet and wünderkind during the immediate post-war period, and was recommended by American poet Mark van Doren to study Literature at Columbia University in… Continue reading David Medalla (1938-2020)

The Outsider Speaking for the Other

            A serial reading of Andre Breton, Sigmund Freud, Frantz Fanon, Rosalind Krauss and Hal Foster, might give the impression of a direct intellectual lineage. That’s not what I’m going to do here. I’d like to think of this as a commentary from the sidelines; of what would have been possible had these thinkers sat… Continue reading The Outsider Speaking for the Other

Three Painters from Bandung

Tondi Hasibuan Overly rigid attempts at comparisons to Picasso do not do justice to Tondi Hasibuan’s incredibly multifaceted work. The stylistic caesuras are too abrupt. Forms reminiscent of Picasso’s late period pieces are given a new lease on life with reinventions from the fund of the artists imagination. A Fine Arts Professor, Tondi Hasibuan’s ambivalent… Continue reading Three Painters from Bandung

A Thread out of the Labyrinth

According to an Athenian version of the Myth of Ariadne, when Minos attacked Athens after his son was killed, the Athenians negotiated for terms. They were required to sacrifice seven young men and seven maidens to the Minotaur every seven or nine years. One year, the sacrificial party included Theseus, the son of King Aegeus,… Continue reading A Thread out of the Labyrinth

The Furnace of Kings

Carlos IV monument in Plaza Mayor, Intramuros c. 1898. The statue of Carlos IV is one of few colonial era monuments that stand today in the old city of Manila called Intramuros. The original purpose of its commission, who made it, and the story of its construction have been largely forgotten, and there are many… Continue reading The Furnace of Kings

The Myth of a Degree Zero Moment

Degree Zero at MoMA provides counterpoints to the understanding of drawing’s role in post-war art. Gathering 75 works, made between 1948 and 1966, from Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Alfredo Volpi, and many others, as well as recent acquisitions by artists such as Uche Okeke, the exhibition freshly examines the commonly perceived… Continue reading The Myth of a Degree Zero Moment