That was in the afternoon in Cemeti, right after the Ambangan Art Project Presentation was end and it was exactly fourteen days of my WfH (Work from Home) end too. Those two events turned to lenses on my glasses that I used to flashback the events that happened around me, especially since this pandemic got worse.
Today, “restriction” constantly has become the choreography that I can see everywhere. From government officials to neighborhood organization, they both voice, practice, and keep an eye on the restriction for travel, gathering, and direct interaction . My rented house was checked so they knew how many people were living in my rented house. Apparently, it was like their subtle allusion to us in which we were expected not to allow one or two of our friends staying overnight in that house. My subscription greengrocery does not only obligate the customers to wear masks and wash their hands before they enter the grocery, but also limit the number of the customers in the grocery not more than 5 people.
In a more personal realm, the past fourteen days became a repetitive adaptation experience upon a standard daily basis. Even though I had more opportunities for cooking, washing clothes, and cleaning the house ( since I stayed at home all the time), I found a difficulty in my workflow. I do not use a laptop which means I don’t accustomed to work moving from one place to other places. Normally, I work using a computer desk in the office. On the other hand, the computer desk in my house does not work as a working computer. This “ambang” (on the brink of uncertain situation) circumstance happened when I had to work on the desk that I was not accustomed to, it got worse when my working hour was incoherent like I used to and I had no other choices for non-physical communication but online.
In the opposite of “the ambang situation” that I experienced due to the restriction applied out of my control, the art project by artists collective named, MILISIFILEM Collective created their own “restriction” consciously instead of avoiding or dealing with it. In seventy two hours, they arranged the agreement which applied to all performans such as time for eating, sleeping, bathing, and sketching. All of those activities were allowed to perform at the Cemeti’s gallery only in another word, the gallery became their isolation room.
Listening to the of Ambangan Art Project post-production record, I realized that the two curators, Anggraeni Widhiasih and Prashasti W. Putri, took a lot of notes that were related to the topic on how committed the performans to the agreement they made was. However, at the end of the day, day by day they started to compromise (or break) the agreement itself, especially in terms of time allocation that they had decided before. Instead of being consistent with the restriction they made, their bodies automatically re-questioned the restriction that was consciously designed and tried to answer it by passing through its limit.
I imagined the same process that my neighbors in my village experienced. It switched so fast, as fast as today they intensely limited the movement of their neighbors, on the other day they gathered in a field near to my house and started playing their guitar and sang passionately.
Tension, friction, and clash happened in the area of “on the brink of uncertain situation”. If we realized and gave the meaning to that, personally, it was likely catarsis. The Ambangan Art Project by MILISIFILEM Collective in last March 2020 as well as this pandemic phenomenon brought me to the idea of the importance of being adaptive and flexible in responding to the situation which tended to responsively react to complexity. This adaptation phase would shape our perspective and certain ideology as our choreography knowledge to go through life. However, we will be in another “ambang situation” again, we try to question and break the “on the brink of uncertain situation” for the sake of gaining the next choreography over and over again. In addition, there is nothing absolute,
but the perspective of life will get wider. Starting with a simple thing such as our sensitivity to accept the situation, courage to try, and persistence to continue this cycle which might be not that simple (again, being in the ambang situation).
Regarding how to take these findings as a knowledge that needs to be embodied by us, Gatari Surya Kusuma, Helly Minarti, and Linda Mayasari as the curators of this project ask the same question and offer two possibilities. The findings and the curatorials by these three curators can be found through the discussion record on our YouTube Channel. To close my writing, by reflecting on this art project, apparently we have to always remember to be optimistic to carry on our life in this situation and still look at the bigger picture of its uncertain circumstance for the sake of drive to our soul, mind, and our body.
May your days bless with joy and health
Written by Muhammad Dzulgornain
Edited by Manshur Zikri
Translation by Diyan Krisnawati