It all begon because we met on ‘Landing Soon’, an AIR program in Indonesia in November 2006. This residency program is organized by Cemeti Arthouse in Yogyakarta and Heden Den Haag (former Artoteek in The Netherlands). During this period we had a lot of interaction but we were not thinking of making a collaboration project, we all focused on our own work.
After three months the residency was finished and Sara went back to the Netherlands but we stayed in close contact. We talked a lot about our differences in backgrounds; cultural, social, religious and geographical. It fascinated us. It was a good starting point for creating something together and the idea for our project Birdprayers was born. We wanted to start our project on Bali because it has a different background then ours, so it added a third background. We were very happy that Sika gallery in Ubud gave us the opportunity to develop our idea in a 1,5 month residency in August 2007.
When working on our project we got more and more to know about the Hindu culture on Bali and how that relates to our cultures. We saw for example the beauty of the Balinese religious community, how strong they are together, how everybody knows their position and their function, but at the same time we learned more about the suffocation of their closely knitted community. This kind of human dualities made the concept of our project Birdprayers only stronger.
The concept of Birdprayers is based on the ridged aspect of identity, the fact that human often uses himself (and so also his own background) to relate to the rest of the world. With Birdprayers we want to talk about the relativity of thoughts and feelings, and so about the relativity of what we believe.
We made Birdprayers an interdisciplinary, intercultural and ongoing art project, which has to travel around the world to get even stronger.
Till now we made two parts of the project: one on Bali in Ubud and one in Yogyakarta in Indonesia (with a discussion at IVAA, Indonesian Visual Arts Archive). The next one will be in The Netherlands and after that we want to continue in other parts of the world. Birdprayers manifest itself every time in one or more disciplines: videos, performances, installations, sculptures, drawings, paintings, prints, readings, discussions and other forms of communication, sometimes in collaboration with other artists. The final visual result of this project will be a video compilation of all the different places we went.
Arya Pandjalu & Sara Nuytemans