Arahmaiani – Home (2011)
For Edge of Elsewhere 2011, Arahmaiani developed a video and installation project based on the theme of home. The artist met with diverse groups living in Sydney, researching the shifting definitions of a concept that many of us take for granted, a term often referred to but little understood.
In a multicultural city like Sydney, the concept of home can be loaded, conflicting, and the cause of emotional trauma or elation. The search for such a vital, yet potentially elusive, concept can be fraught. Arahmaiani’s search is motivated by understanding communities in an environment where, a once simple concept such as home, is further complicated through displacement, migration, and generational shifts as a result of increased mobility.
The project encouraged discussions that examined what the concept home means in diverse contexts, where and how we locate home, and how we define a personal sense of home.
Her discussions unfolded, at times, like family gatherings, others more formal. Some participants came with fully formed ideas about what home means for them, whilst others took time to formulate their feelings by talking them through. Articulations of home, however, always involved personal stories of where someone had come from, and how histories and memory informed their connection to place.
The participants feelings and ideas about home were further translated by Arahmaiani into textiles that reflect the shared universal ideas and potentials for how we may define home, and how we can find this for ourselves.
We would like to extend our thanks and gratitude for the generosity of those who participated in this project, for sharing their time and stories.
Arahmaiani was born in Bandung, West Java. Working primarily in performance and installation since the early 1980s, Arahmaiani has gained an international reputation for her provocative work. Her Indonesian heritage, Western art training and humanist concerns which explore themes of violence, repression, conformity and the role of women in contemporary society and cultures, has seen Arahmaiani curated into numerous exhibitions and performances, ranging from those held directly in street protests in Indonesia to contemporary art museums in Asia, Europe and America. Arahmaiani represented Indonesia at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003.