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Leyla Stevens & Bianca Winataputri present on Sang gunung menyerahkan jejaknya ke laut

Leyla Stevens & Bianca Winataputri will present on the exhibition Sang gunung menyerahkan jejaknya ke laut held in Bali in 2023.

15 March 2024, 12:00-13:00 (GMT + 11:00) | Online

The exhibition Sang gunung menyerahkan jejaknya ke laut presented a series of moving image artworks by Australian-Balinese artist Leyla Stevens at Cush Cush Gallery in Denpasar, Bali, from 11 August to 10 September 2023. Curated by Bianca Winataputri, the works featured in this exhibition offer a transcultural perspective on southern Bali’s histories and explore the ways in which Bali’s coastlines have been reshaped by global tourism and sustained colonial imaginations.


The exhibition title alludes to a spatial shift of the centre point in Bali, which previously and historically centred on the mountain (Gunung Agung) but now, with mass tourism, has been repositioned to the coastal lines with rapid developments that accommodate a 'beachfront view'.

Connecting several historical trajectories around political violence, surf tourism, the Wallace Line, Gunung Agung, and spirits who inhabit the natural world, the exhibition focused on counterpoint histories in Bali that continue to shape and contest its position as an island paradise. The artist’s approach to moving images as a reparative form of witnessing also seeks to uncover stories of erasure and forgetting that are embedded within the landscape.


Sang gunung menyerahkan jejaknya ke laut is an invitation to rethink our relationship with the landscapes around us, how we belong, and our responsibility within them. A critical part of the exhibition was a series of guided walks and collective gatherings of local artists, writers, historians, surfers, architects, community leaders, 1965 activists, and environmentalists who jointly discussed shared concerns and experiences of tourism, collective memory, historical injustices, and more. These public discussions also fostered intergenerational dialogue and exchange, with many families and younger audiences participating in the conversation.


Sang gunung menyerahkan jejaknya ke laut is the first exhibition by Stevens to be held in Bali, marking a pivotal moment of ‘return’ for both the artist and her works. This presentation by the artist and curator will share their experiences and reflections on the project and the significance of engaging with transnational histories and collective memory in present times.


Leyla Stevens is an Australian-Balinese artist who works within a lens-based practice. Her work has made a significant contribution to expanded documentary genres in Australian video art, as well as exploring the reparative potential of artmaking framed within political and social justice issues. Her practice is informed by ongoing engagements with storied places, archives, cultural geographies and performance lineages through a transcultural lens. In 2021, Leyla was awarded the prestigious 66th Blake Art Prize for her film Kidung, which engages with Bali’s silenced histories of political violence. Her work has been exhibited widely through major national and international group exhibitions, including recent presentations at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 17th Jogja Biennale, TarraWarra Museum, University of Queensland Art Museum, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace Sydney, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Guangdong Times Museum, and Seoul Museum of Art. Leyla’s works are held in a number of significant institutional collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Kadist. She works collaboratively as a member of Woven Kolektif, an artist group exploring diasporic connections to Indonesia.


Bianca Winataputri is an independent curator, writer, podcast host, and PhD candidate in Art History and Theory at Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA). She was recently Public Programs Coordinator at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and previously Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Australia, where she formed part of a curatorium for the major exhibition Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia (2019). She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and completed her Honours year at the Australian National University, where she received the Janet Wilkie Prize for Art History in 2017. Bianca’s research is focused on contemporary Southeast Asian art and exhibitions. Her recent projects include: Talking Contemporary podcast (2021–ongoing); Sang Gunung Menyerahkan Jejaknya ke Laut (The Mountain Gives Way to the Sea), Cush Cush Gallery, Bali, Indonesia (2023); Crossroads/Titik Temu: Eugenia Lim x Yaya Sung, Bus Projects, Melbourne (2020); and Who am I: Chinese-Indonesian art practice post-1998, Intermission Gallery, Monash Art, Design and Architecture, Melbourne (2019). Bianca is currently developing an international research and exchange project [Think. Feel. Act.] With Seaweed that connects seaweed creative practices, artmaking, innovation, and modes of thinking across Asia and Australia.


Image: Leyla Stevens, Our Sea is Always Hungry (2018) single channel video, stereo sound, 13:16 minutes.

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