Edge of Elsewhere

Tag: fx harsono

In Memory of a Name podcast series

FX Harsono (right) with Toby Chapman and Macushla Robinson

As one of their outcomes, the In Memory of a Name curatorium presented a series of conversations, presentations and interviews – the In Memory of a Name Mini-Symposium. Held at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art on Saturday 18 February, the event saw a number of participants from the curatorium present aspects of the research that they have undertaken as part of the In Memory of a Name curatorium project. The curatorium was initiated by Indonesian artist, FX Harsono, as part of Edge of Elsewhere. All projects that were part of Edge of Elsewhere in 2012 adopted unique and differing perspectives on what or where a community is, and how an artists can hope to truly engage with these communities.

Harsono’s group, comprised of emerging artists, writers, critics and curators from across Australia, both undertook research into various communities about the effects of changing ones name, but also became a constructed community in themselves. As individuals who had little or no previously knowledge of one another, their year-long process of research and reporting acted as a structure from which legitimate and lasting relationships, dialogues and exchanges could take place. A number of participants from the curatorium decided in late 2011 that a broadcasted mini-symposium would be the best method for presenting a range of varying and often disparate conversations. Whilst these conversations could not be broadcast on the day, they were transmitted through 4A, and recorded.

The In Memory of a Name Curatorium, as part of Edge of Elsewhere are pleased to present a series of podcasts from their symposium. Continue reading for a complete list of podcast recordings from the event.

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In Memory of a Name symposium – documentation

Thanks to all those that made it to 4A last weekend for the In Memory of A Name symposium. All of the presentations from the symposium have been recorded and will be uploaded early next week.

Elly Kent’s project, Née (born as), continues the conversation on the memorialisation of names all this week at Casula Powerhouse. Elly’s project will be open to the public from 11am – 5pm until Friday 24 February.

In the mean time, here are a few photos taken of the various presentations throughout the day.

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Public Programs – In Memory of A Name symposium

FX Harsono, Writing in the Rain (2010), installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, photograph: Susannah Wimberley

Venue: 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Date: Saturday 18 February 2012
Time: 2-4pm
Bookings essential: simon.soon@4a.com.au

This Saturday, 18 February, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will present the In Memory of A Name symposium. From 2 – 4pm, you are invited to join 4A and a curatorium of emerging artists, writers, historians and curators as they present the result of a year-long investigation into the politics of changing your name.

Since 2011, 4A has been working with Indonesian artist FX Harsono, who in turn has facilitated this curatorium, In Memory of A Name. Taking Harsono’s work Rewriting the Name (2009) as a springboard, the curatorium have considered what it means for themselves, and other in their communities, to change their names.

The symposium will include interview with FX Harsono, pranic healer and name-expert Yasaiah Ross, and curatorium members such as Andreas Jaka Pratama who is looking for volunteers to have their name translated from Indonesia to English, using the Name Filtration System.

We are still accepting bookings for the Name Filtration System here.

4A would also like to invite participants for Elly Kent’s ongoing project Née (born as), a conversation project that invites you to tell the stories of your names; the names of our family, the names that you have left behind and the names that you have embraced.

We invite you to join us by stitching a name onto a piece of fabric while you share your story. The stitched names will become part of a collage, inscribed as a memorial to names past, present and future.

Sign up to be a participant for this project.

Join us at 4A for an afternoon of lively and entertaining discussion led by the In Memory of a Name participants.


Fx Harsono, Writing in the Rain (2011), installation view, photograph: Susannah Wemberley

COR (Celebrate-Obliterate-Recreate: an invisible ritual of shared sacrifice) is a response to the In Memory of Name workshops led by FX Harsono. It is a 3-stage process involving aspects of celebrating, obliterating, and recreating personal narratives and identities. Each participant brought one image of a cherished object to the project.  Echoing the words of Eva Gyarmati, “The value of an object lies not only in how beautiful it is but in the stories that it holds, the emotions that it evokes and the lessons that it teaches us,” they wrote about the object and its personal significance to them.

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4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art – Installation Images

Khaled Sabsabi, corner (2012), installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 2012. Photograph: Susannah Wemberley

Thank you to all that made it to the opening of Edge of Elsewhere at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art last night. There was an incredible amount of support for the project and participating artits. Special thanks also to Maud Page for opening the exhibition.

There’s a small selection of installation images below.

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4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art – Exhibition Launch

Edge of Elsewhere launches this evening, 6 – 8pm at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 181-187 Hay Street, Haymarket. The exhibition will be opened by Maud Page, Curator of Contemporary Pacific Art, Queensland Art Gallery.


In its final year, Edge of Elsewhere presents a number of projects in development since 2010. Exhibited at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art are works by Arahmaiani, FX Harsono, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Khaled Sabsabi and YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES.

By initiating and developing experiences of cross-cultural dialogue with communities, and linking these to significant experiences of contemporary art and everyday life, Edge of Elsewhere expands the profile of Australia’s emerging communities by connecting them with broader national and international arts practices.

Edge of Elsewhere – Install

YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES - THE SLICKEST LITTLE KOREAN SCUMBAG DOWNUNDER (2011), HD QuickTime movie with original soundtrack, installation view

Last weekend the Edge of Elsewhere team took a break to enjoy Sydney Festival First Night, which included a live performance of  Brook Andrew’s  Travelling Colony, a dizzying and hypnotic combination of the artists Wiradjuri tradition, the circus and pop culture. The following day the team headed to Carriageworks in Redfern for the launch of Black Capital, the inaugural series of performances, seminars, concerts and exhibitions that celebrate the diversity of Redfern, as the Indigenous capital of Australia.

So after an enjoyable weekend it was back into the galleries today, preparing for our own openings later this week. Remember, the openings of our new exhibitions begin this Thursday, at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art at 6pm.




Workshop – FX Harsono: In Memory of a Name

Beginning in early 2011, Indonesian artist FX Harsono initiated a curatorim to be made up of a group of emerging cultural producers – artists, writers, curators, academics – as part of the artists contribution to Edge of Elsewhere. Through a series of workshops, online discussions, meetings and individual research the group has conisdered the implications of, and decisions tha lead to changing one’s name.

In late October, 2011 Harsono returned to Sydney to participate in the third In Memory of a Name curatorium workshop. The workshop was a chance for participants to come together to share their individual research and begin discussions about how the outcomes of their progress so far.

The curatorium will present a selection of outcomes from their individual and collective research as part of the 2012 Edge of Elsewhere exhibition program. These outcomes are still in development, but stay tuned for more details closer to January!

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Why Remember?

Peter Allen sings Tenterfield Saddler. (Sound only, static images)

by Helen Fong

The late singer/ songwriter, Peter Allen, changed his surname from Woolnough. In his autobiographical song “Tenterfield Saddler”, Allen told how his grandfather, his father, and by implication his Tenterfield past no longer had a place in his life. Then came the throwaway line leading to a rousing chorus- “except in this song”. In the song’s three short minutes, Allen deftly managed to memorialise his family while also making a clear statement that he had moved on. Some people who have had traumatic childhoods, as Peter Allen did, seek to reinvent themselves and leave the past behind. It can be an act of courage to do so. Why do others choose to remember? Why did FX Harsono choose to recall his Chinese name in “Rewriting the Erased Name” and “Writing in the Rain”?

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Remembering and Forgetting the Name

by Macushla Robinson

In his recent work ‘Writing in the rain’, FX Harsono writes his Chinese name with a calligraphy brush repeatedly on a sheet of glass, until it is difficult to see the artist through the network of interlocking characters and drips of ink. After a while, water begins to splash against the glass and over the artist, washing away his name in a flood of black ink.

FX Harsono’s recent work deals with personal and political histories: the artist seeks to re-learn his Chinese name, which was changed by Indonesian Government mandate. This is an act that reclaims an ethnic identity and an a personal history.

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