Once Upon a Time: Indonesia 1996

Once Upon a Time: Indonesia 1996

Once Upon a Time: Indonesia 1996

Digital print
Indonesia, 2015

Once Upon A Time: Indonesia 1966 tries to respond the emerging era of the New Order (Orba), known as the ‘66 Generation. The movement is widely known as the start of national awakening of the student’s movement, who were able to force Soekarno in transferring the mandate of power to the people. Then, it is published in the form of SUPERSEMAR (March 11th Decree) given to the recipient of the mandate, Soeharto. The ‘66 Generation then were ‘awarded’, as many activists in this era had been given positions in the governmental cabinet of the New Order administration – a regime that reigned for almost 32 years in Indonesia. The New Order regime, along with its long lasting power, is definitely influential especially to the formation of Indonesia’s history, including the course of the nation.

The Secret Agents “suspected” a reproduction of Indonesian history during the times of New Order regime by exploring photo and text archives they obtained from study guidebooks. Among others were the magazines involved with the political and social events, as well as the cultural events in 1966. They have made a digital collage of their photo discoveries, as added with some “interruption” by eliminating or adding captions on the photos they explored.

The Secret Agents

They produce various installations and interactive projects based on photography that expresses spaces and memories. This duo consists of Indra Ameng (1974) and Keke Tumbuan (1978). Their work The Secret Lobby was part of Jakarta Biennale XIII-ARENA. They also give numoreus workshops to students. In 2010, they joined photography project Ultra Vocation which was held in a biannual event, Jakarta 320 Celcius. This project explores photography medium and functionality as a tool to capture what’s real and what’s not. The duo, who took their name from Joseph Conrad’s fiction book, is also the currator behind Superbad’s live music performances.