Your Gold is not Our Glory

 Your Gold is not Our Glory

Mira Asriningtyas & Dito Yuwono

with work by Jompet Kuswidananto, Ipeh Nur, Mella Jaarsma and Westfries Museum

Hotel Maria Kapel

October 6th - 21st 2023

By early 2023, Dito Yuwono and Mira Asriningtyas were selected to be part of 2023 Hotel Maria Kapel long-term research residency program with a project that takes its starting point from a research and study platform of spatial history and poetic political experience of a city as the manifestation of collective memories and narrative. In January 2023, we started by walking around Hoorn to learn about the historical narrative of the city with a decolonial point of view. Hoorn is a town and a former Dutch East India Company base in the Dutch province of North Holland. The town's glorified past were prominent and embeded in the daily life: from the statues and monuments, children storybook, VOC logo in the middle of the busiest shopping street, to the smaller detail of cookies in a bakery. Over the course of approximately half a year, we have been researching the city’s so-called ‘Golden Age’ - a time of unprecedented prosperity in the 17th century, when the East India Company (VOC) was founded and inhabitants such as J.P. Coen travelled the world for trade and colonization. We are interested in emphasizing the counter-narrative of the Golden Age from the perspective of Indonesian history, aligned with the geopolitical context of The Netherlands.

Right after the walk and field research in Hoorn, we knew we wanted to bring multiple perspectives and invite other artists to the final presentation. But we asked ourselves, where do we start? As Dito already started his research on the Van Mook Lijn since 2019, we decided to see the possibilities on how to build the exhibition based on our experience in Hoorn, and Dito’s research on Van Mook Lijn. Upon returning to Indonesia, Dito start producing his new video, titled "Yang Kelak akan Retak” (Which Will Eventually Crack); Video that is anchored in the idea of following the trails of ths historical border as an attempt to retrace the spatial division through some underrated small-scale monument or monument-look-like, such as: Monument Renville (Banjarnegara, Central Java), Tugu Renville (Kebumen, Central Java) and Status Quo Line (Malang, East Java). This timely project coincides with the Netherlands government's acknowledgment of Indonesian Independence in 1945. This shift changes a lot of historical narratives and the dynamic of Indonesia-Netherlands relationship. The layers of complexities of its history interest the artist beyond its visual form: particularly its socio-political-historical context and understanding of the historical treaties after more than 70 years in the eyes of the local people.

Starting from the research during the long term residency at Hotel Maria Kapel, Mira developed an exhibition that critically reflects on the history of Hoorn from a decolonial Indonesian perspective. The exhibition invites other Indonesian artists to be part of the discussion as well as collaborating with a local museum from Hoorn. Public programs consisting of a discussion and a walking tour will be conducted at the beginning and the end of the exhibition. The exhibition investigates some crucial turning points in Indonesian history; from the Banda massacre in 1621 that will be presented by Ipeh Nur alongside a clove miniature ship, a collection of the WestFries Museum in Hoorn; to the implementation of Cultuurstelsel in the 19th-century presented by Mella Jaarsma and Jompet Kuswidananto; and the military aggression at tip end of the Dutch colonial rule in 1945 - 1949 presented by Dito Yuwono. At the end of the exhibition, Mella Jaarsma will take the audience for a walking tour along multiple places in Hoorn, discussing sights, findings, and shared histories from different perspectives as the city becomes a site where political narratives reside and where transfer of values are being made and continuously contested.