Element of surprise (Part 2)

Element of surprise (Part 2)

Element of surprise (Part 2)

Two Channels Video Installation
Indonesia, 2015

1965 has always been a mysterious year for the Indonesian history. Apart from the efforts to blur the historical facts of the massive event by Soeharto and the New Order regime, there are lots of issues that are still mazy until today. Some of them had been proven to be historical facts, while others parts have been minor unproven records. One of the events in need of confirmation is the story on an Arabic descendant named Syarif Ahmad Soyan Al Barakbah, or known as SAS initial, from the South Kalimantan Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

As one of the regional leader of PKI, SAS was also hunted by the military following the 30 September Movement (G30S PKI) and suspected to have escaped and died in his effort. But on June 1968, several evidence was found showing that SAS was alive and constantly avoiding military pursuit. His expertise had awarded him a title of “The Ghost.”

In the Element of Surprise, the minor history records involving the Indonesian Arab group in the communism ideology domains were rearranged through the story of SAS. The matter of right or wrong has been the outmost unfinished argument. The tension is displayed in the two channels video alternately showing text and images. Forward and reverse chronological plot are the main and important connecting bridge in explaining the hazy historical facts. Previously emerged facts in the past may slowly be erased in the present, and resurface as a new narration in the future.

Saleh Husein

He’s not only a dynamic artist, but he’s also the guitarist for a famous band White Shoes & The Couples Company and The Adams. In 2009, he participated in Jakarta Biennale XIII-ARENA and Occupying Space: ASEAN Performance Art Event in Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta. His first solo exhibiton Riwayat Saudagar at RURU Gallery (2012) is a series-like art project. A year after, his work Arabian Party was displayed in Jakarta Biennale XV-SIASAT. His latest work was featured in Time of Others exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan. Saleh Husein is an active member of Komplotan Jakarta 32ºC and associated with various workshops with students.