NATASHA TONTEY (ID)
Residency period: February 2024
In 2022-2023 La Becque collaborated with lead commissioner Auto Italia (London) and fellow co-commissioners Stroom (The Hague) and Shedhalle (Zurich) to support the creation of a new moving image work by Indonesian artist Natasha Tontey, Garden Amidst the Flame, which premiered at Auto Italia and was subsequently shown at the co-commissioning institutions and other partners.
Tontey lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Her artistic practice predominantly explores fictional accounts of the history and myths surrounding ‘manufactured fear’. In her practice, she observes any possibilities of other futures that are projected not from the perspective of major and established institutions, but a subtle and personal struggle of the outcast entities and beings. Her work has been shown at Asian Art Biennale 2021, Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart (Berlin), transmediale 2021, Performance Space 2021, Other Futures 2021, Singapore International Film Festival 2021, Kyoto Experiment 2021, Asian Film Archive (2021), amongst other venues. In 2020 she received the HASH Award from ZKM and Akademie Schloss-Solitude and she is currently a fellow of the Human Machine programme of the Junge Akademie at Akademie der Künste Berlin 2021-2023.
With the commission (and her first solo UK show with its presentation at Auto Italia), Tontey presented a newbody of work that departs from her research around public fear manufactured by fictional accounts of history and mythmaking. The commission explored resulting expectations of the future through speculative fiction as well as practices of futurity from the point of view of the subtle and personal struggles of minority groups and outcast beings. This included Tontey’s work around the dynamic of Minahasan cosmology – an Indigenous ethnic group in North Sulawesi, Indonesia – and its potential for opening an alternative world.
La Becque will facilitate several research stays for Tontey, allowing her to expand on screening trips and stays and to further her current research, which observes the relationship between contemporary technology, astronomy in Minahasan culture and equilibrium in human biological and nonbiological living systems as an alternative model for rethinking the crisis of human relations with nature.