Landing Soon #10 | Octora & Cilia Erens

Cilia & Octora at the artist talk

Cilia & Octora at the artist talk

1 February - 30 April 2009

‘Soundspace Jogja’ and ‘Nyepi Walk’
Cilia Erens is a sound artist. This aspect of art has not been popular, or it can be said, has been rare in Indonesia.  One of our artists in Indonesia has often been referred to as a sound artist in various international forums, because her art installations produce characteristic and unique compositions of sound as part of the statement of the work itself. In interdisciplinary explorations, there have been several artists, sculptors (of course, not only sculptors), who have explored sounds and voices as part of their works. Also, theater, music and architecture have opened interdisciplinary fields that involve sound and voice in their own ways.The possibilities that have emerged in architecture, have perhaps been the most recent.The works of sound artists are called ‘sound art’. This same principle applies more specifically to Cilia Eren’s works in Landing Soon #10. Differentiating her work from the sound art of sound artists who have backgrounds in music, whose work is produced perhaps by manipulation of sounds, Cilia clearly does not exploit sound or voice (that by pretense then become music).  Cilia’s sound art is the result of filtering, conceptual selection of recordings of the reality of civilization and daily human life.

Cilia’s sound art is not a transfer of visual sensations from the eye to the brain, which instinctively create perceptions, becoming frames of impressions or results of sense recordings of sounds or voices. They are not the results of a collaboration of the senses of hearing and sight towards sound and voice stimuli.  This is the tendency of most interdisciplinary artists. In this way, a similar mechanism on the work principles of space in architecture will make possible the emanation of architectural sounds and voices.

However, Cilia stresses that a strong “kind of architectural concept” of the city of Yogyakarta is dominated by the variety of open neighborhoods a la tropical Yogykarta. This became the most important inspiration for the concept of Cilia’s sound art here.

Initially, prior to becoming involved with sound art, Cilia Erens was trained as a city planner. It is not surprising that the principle and concept of a panoply, or covering, has become the most important architectural sensation in Yogyakarta neighborhoods. In the context of the development of urban motion, the sounds and noises that are produced by the dynamics of “this characteristic civilization” provoke Cilia Eren’s thoughts. Sounds and noises arise: rustling quietly but persistently, thundering in front of the drums, whirring rhythmically in the background, marking the time, all of this becoming a unified phenomenon of sound and noise that swings with time intervals, witnessing the changes of each era and generation, like a giant carpet embracing the city’s identity.  Cilia’s work then poses provakative questions: who is involved and how are the negotiations for the schedule and frequency, time or rhythm of these civilized urban sounds/noises in this ‘giant neighborhood’ made? Is it time that these negotiating positions become an issue and something to think about for us/the residents?

AUDIBLESOUND is the term Cilia found that became an interesting title for her works in Landing Soon #10. Yogyakarta is her discovery; conceptual selection and filtering of recordings of the reverberations of  a hundred kinds of call to prayer and the roaring of thousands of motorized vehicles.

‘Project of Intimacy’
The body is the prominent subject of almost every thought and idea that serves as the foundation for Octora’s creative works.  In considering the sequence of her creative work, the stages of her creative process, we can not ignore the factors of her personal experience.  For example, once she studied how to illustrate the human body or torso in the department of painting and sculpture; always with a unique and personal method encouraging, pushing forward her characteristic expression; in the form of perceptions, interpretations, reflections, or revisions of her conceptions of the body. In a very personal way, Octora contemplated her revisions by exploring Yogyakarta on her bicycle for three months. Reclaiming her ability to ride a bicycle in the midst of the busy-ness of the city, after more than two decades of driving a car in Bandung, Oktora expressed her rage like a small child who was continuously adjusting to the physical changes in her body. How the human spirit becomes susceptible when our car places us as a moving shell that is often overprotected while driving. Thus, during the three month residency, Octora contemplating  while bicycling through the urban Yogyakarta neighborhoods; imagining a free body, ‘naked’, unimpeded, knowing her potential and recalculating her strength. Meanwhile, the body became the shell that protected her spirit.

The Landing Soon residency is a period of production, contemplative production, idea production. Often the artists make use of analysis and experimentation to review their entire creative process.

Octora revised her ideas about the body beginning with the questions:  Why must it be continuously protected and defended? Isn’t it tiring, weakening and often silly? Why don’t we ever ‘celebrate’ the body? Free it from the social constructions, the indifference with the political, social and economic norms of this country?

Octora collected dozens of kinds of action dolls (dolls that had become bridges for physical personification) from the owners. Oktora wrapped and shaped them one by one with love that was very fashionable and stylish. She collected several women’s pants and affixing fashionable, protective accents. Oktora’s works leap far away from the discourse of craft fetishes towards craft as a discourse and expression of experience and provocation of norms.

Nindityo Adipurnomo, 2009