IN SITU: Lifepatch – The Tale of Tiger and Lion

Insitu beeld 2


M HKA, Antwerp

16 September 2017 - 07 January 2018

The IN SITU programme offers medium-scale monographic exhibitions by significant early- and mid-career artists from around the world. It focuses on the commissioning of new works and foregrounding experimental practices in what is M HKA’s largest and most atypical exhibition space.

The Lifepatch collective have been invited for a solo exhibition at M HKA. Lifepatch is a community-based organisation founded in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 2012. They organise cross-disciplinary practices, bringing art, science and technology into dialogue in order to develop the useful presence of technological, natural and human resources in their region. As with many of the collective groups in Indonesia, self-practice, collaboration, interdisciplinarity and invention are at the core of Lifepatch’s work.

Their project for M HKA will focus on the relations between two key figures of Dutch Colonial history in Indonesia – Hans Christoffel and Si Singamangaraja XII. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Swiss man Christoffel was employed as a Captain in the Royal Dutch-Indies Legion with the task of assassinating tribal kings and leaders in Indonesia. His “cat-and-mouse” with Si Singamangaraja, spiritual and political leader of the Batak people in Sumatra became legend, giving Singamangaraja the status of national hero.

Christoffel travelled to all parts of Indonesia collecting weapons and artefacts from the tribes that he slayed. He eventually settled in Antwerp after marrying Adolphina van Rijswijck, daughter of the mayor Jan van Rijswijck, and later donated his collection to the Ethnographic Museum in Antwerp. For their exhibition, Lifepatch present a key selection of these artefacts, together with new artworks considering these two figures and their remarkable intertwined story. Their exhibition brings to light the competing narratives at play in the machinery of power and colonialism.

Lifepatch are presented at M HKA within the framework of Europalia Indonesia. The exhibition is developed in collaboration with AIR Antwerpen and MAS – Museum aan de Stroom.

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