Jatiwangi Art Factory’s ‘Lair’ brings collaborative music to Kingston

Jatiwangi Art Factory (JaF)an arts collective from Jatisura, Indonesia brings their musical ensemble to Kingston for a micro-residency.

Sebastian De Line, Agnes Etherington’s Associate Curator in Indigenous Art Care and Relations, was introduced to JaF during his residency in Indonesia.

“I always thought it would be a great opportunity to eventually invite JaF to my house and have a kind of reciprocal exchange where they could come here, see our art scene and participate in different programming,” De said. Line in an interview with The newspaper.

The collective’s use of clay is influenced by the historic terracotta industry of the Jatiwangi district, highlighting the area’s reputation for making terracotta tiles.

“From sculptural practices to musical practices, and even to perfumes [and] architecture, everything is made of clay [Jatisura’s] land,” he said.

The collective includes approximately 50 multimedia artists, musicians, designers and curators. Their music ensemble, lairis composed of six musicians who use clay instruments.

In partnership with the Agnes, the Isabel Bader Center for the Performing Arts and the Toronto Art Biennale, lair will deliver a range of programs to the communities of Kingston and Toronto.

March 6 marks the first event of the residency, a jam session hosted in the Agnes Etherington home.

“It will be a great opportunity for everyone here to meet and share different stories and music, [as well as] how we relate to the earth and [artist’s] musical practices,” said De Line.

The jam session will be an informal meeting where participants can listen to musicians and talk with local artists and teachers from the DAN school.

“It’s about spending time together – it’s a part of artistic practice that I find [is] the glue that is not always recognised,” he said.

De Line finds inspiration in the way JaF works together as a collective unit, unlike traditional European art which focuses on individual artists.

“[It’s] that kind of collective mentality that is very grounded in the land and in your community,” he said. “[Collective collaboration is] Something [I’ve noticed becoming] more and more interest here at home, but they’ve been doing this for a very long time in Indonesia.

lair will also record new music at Isabel’s Jennifer Velva Bernstein performance venue, culminating in a public broadcast event March 8 at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s kind of like an incubation period where they can go wild with all the really amazing people working there,” De Line explained.

“[They can work with [the Isabel’s] world-class technicians, equipment and great facilities, and hang out with our music experts [while] record songs.

De Line can’t wait to see what JaF will produce during his micro-residency.

“As a curator, I strive to facilitate the conditions that make a space comfortable, [and] feel hot [and] welcoming,” he said. “[So, I] really sit back and let the artists do their thing, [since it’s] what they do best, and see what great things come out of it.

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