Garden Amidst the Flame
BY Natasha Tontey
We hosted the screening of Natasha Tontey’s work, Garden Amidst the Flame for its Swiss french-speaking part premiere here at La Becque!
A newly commissioned moving image work by the Indonesian artist, Garden Amidst the Flame continues Tontey’s research into the ancient knowledge, technologies and cosmology of the Minahasa, an indigenous nation in the North Sulawesi province of Indonesia. In this latest work, Tontey emphasises the core of the Minahasa cultural belief in an all-encompassing balance between the human and the non-human. Drawing on her experience of the Karai ceremony, which grants Minahasan warriors an armour of invincibility, the artist seeks to establish a queering approach towards gender, youth, and ecology.
Garden Amidst the Flame is commissionned by Auto Italia (London-UK), in partnership with La Becque (La Tour-de-Peilz-CH), Stroom Den Haag (The Hague-NL), and Shedhalle in Zurich (Zurich-CH), and is made possible through additional support from the Governance of North Sulawesi, Bank SulutGo, and the Department of Tourism and Culture of North Sulawesi.
The film premieres at Auto Italia as the eponymous centerpiece of the exhibition “Garden Amidst the Flame” (from September 15th to December 4th, 2022) and is then shown at Shedhalle within the exhibition “Protozone8: QUEER TRUST” (from September 16th to December 4th, 2022) before getting its La Becque premiere on September 20th. The film will continue its journey to The Hague where it will be shown the 1st of October for the first time in the Netherlands, as part of the upcoming exhibition “From the Sea to the Clouds to the Soil” (from October 1st to December 18th).
In addition to co-commissioning the work, La Becque has integrated Natasha Tontey in its 2023 residency cohort, as part of our Satellite Residencies program. Tontey will complete several short research residencies in 2022 and 2023 that will allow her to lengthen her screening visits and continue her research on Minahasan culture, exploring alternative models for rethinking the currently fraught relationship between humans and nature.
© "Garden Amidst the Flame", 2022, Natasha Tontey.