Sunday, August 06, 2006

...

...


2 Comments:

Blogger spyz said...

Di Luar Lingkaran: Anak Alam masih tidak berganti
Bersama Johan Jaaffar
zulujj@tm.net.my

PANGGUNG COLISEUM di Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman di Kuala Lumpur mempunyai sejarahnya yang tersendiri. Apabila Menteri Kebudayaan, Kesenian dan Warisan (KeKKWa), Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim mengumumkan panggung itu bakal menjadi sebahagian Pusat Warisan Negara, cadangan itu perlu disambut dengan baik.




Saya tidak tahu apakah sebenarnya rancangan kementerian mengenai panggung itu. Saya hanya melihat sinergi yang baik di antara tempat yang dipanggil ?Lanai Seni? di sebelahnya dengan bangunan itu sendiri. Saya melihat kawasan itu paling sesuai untuk menghidupkan seni dan budaya. Lanai Seni selama ini dimuatkan dengan pelbagai kegiatan kebudayaan dan kesenian terbuka. Di sinilah selama ini berjalannya kegiatan bacaan puisi, syair, tromba, baca naskhah, drama pendek, pantomen dan sebagainya. Tentu lebih baik lagi jika dapat diselangselikan dengan persembahan seniman jalanan.

Saya timbulkan soal seniman jalanan ini kerana merekalah yang sebenarnya karyawan yang tidak pernah jemu jelak mengabdikan diri pada seni. Dengan hanya berbekalkan sebuah gitar, seruling atau sekadar tong kosong dan suara, mereka membuat persembahan spontan yang menghiburkan. Sayangnya, sumbangan mereka ini tidak dihargai. Mereka hanya bermain di restoran kecil dan hidup dengan sumbangan orang ramai. Malah mereka sering menjadi buruan pegawai penguat kuasa Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL).

Di kota besar dunia, komuniti seniman turut mencorakkan kota itu. Di New York, Greenwich Village bermula sebagai komuniti seniman jalanan. Koloni seniman terkenal di Paris ialah di Montmartre. Place Du Tertre di tengah Montmarte tempat berhimpunnya seniman Perancis. Taman Ismail Marzuki di Jakarta lahir kerana pemerintah negara itu mahu menghimpunkan seniman pelbagai bidang dalam satu perkampungan. Tempat ini yang asalnya perkampungan seniman bebas kini menjadi senama dengan penghasilan seni bermutu dan alamat kesenian yang dihormati.

Saya tidak tahu apakah akan lahir sebuah Place Du Tertre. Satu ketika dulu, kumpulan yang dikenali sebagai Anak Alam menggunakan sebuah rumah kerajaan untuk berkarya. Letaknya di Kompleks Budaya Negara (KBN) yang kini menjadi sebahagian daripada Akademi Seni Kebangsaan (ASK). Saya terbabit dalam kegiatan Anak Alam mulai pertengahan tahun 1970-an. Saya bermula sebagai tenaga produksi pementasan Pemburu Perkasa karya dramatis Indonesia, Leon Agusta. Pada 1979, saya mengarahkan drama saya sendiri Angin Kering yang juga drama penuh pertama di bawah label Anak Alam.

Sebelum kedatangan aktivis teater, Anak Alam terkenal sebagai kumpulan pelukis dan penyair serta mereka yang terbabit dalam seni tampak. Di sinilah Latiff Mohiddin, A Ghafar Ibrahim, Siti Zainon Ismail, Mustafa Ibrahim, Anuar Rashid, Yusof Gajah, Apai, Pyanhabib dan lain-lain mula membuat nama. Malah mereka dinaungi Allahyarham Usman Awang (Tongkat Warrant) yang ketika itu memimpin majalah Dewan Sastera di Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) dan bekas Pengarah KBN ketika itu, Allahyarham Ismail Zain.

Di bawah Mustafa, kumpulan Anak Alam mengembangkan sayapnya dalam bidang teater membabitkan saya sendiri, Ibrahim Ghafar, Omar Abdullah, Allahyarham Muhammad Abdullah, Musa Masran, Fauziah Nawi dan ramai lagi. Melalui cara inilah seorang penjual ubat di Chow Kit ?ditemui? oleh Mendiang Krishen Jit. Beliau ialah Khalid Salleh, yang kini sedang membawakan watak Pateh Kerma Wijaya dalam drama arahan U-Wei di Auditorium DBP, Wangi Jadi Saksi. (Pementasannya berakhir malam ini).

Khalid dibawa ke pentas oleh Krishen melalui drama Dinsman berjudul Bukan Bunuh Diri. Beliau kemudiannya mencipta nama sebagai seorang pelakon pentas, TV dan filem di negara ini. Filem arahan U-Wei, Kaki Bakar memperkenalkan Khalid ke Festival Filem Cannes.

Semangat kebebasan, kesantaian dan suasana kreativiti luar biasa di Anak Alam itu tidak mungkin kembali. Rumah tempat aktivis Anak Alam bergiat sudah roboh. Tempat yang menjadi ruang sembang dan minum kopi petugas dan penari KBN serta seniman dari Anak Alam ? kantin Pak Nawi (bapa Fauziah) ? juga sudah tiada. Kehilangan Anak Alam menandakan berakhirnya era gerakan seniman jalanan di negara ini. Selepas itu memang muncul gerakan seniman sedemikian tetapi tidak mempunyai impak sehebat Anak Alam.

Pada masa ini KL memang mempunyai ruang untuk persembahan pelbagai seni. Istana Budaya (IB) misalnya menyediakan panggung berkelas dunia. Cuma sayangnya tempat ini ?mati? jikalau tidak ada persembahan. Singapura mempunyai ?The Esplanade - Theaters on the Bay? yang juga kompleks semacam IB. The Esplanade berbentuk durian di Marina Bay, maka itu dipanggil ?Durian? oleh penduduk tempatan. Apa yang penting ialah ?Durian? hidup sepanjang masa. Kompleks itu disokong lapan hotel utama dengan 5,000 bilik, dua pusat konvensyen, 1,000 kedai dan arked serta 300 restoran dan 150 bar. Malah Kerajaan Singapura sedang membina kereta api bawah tanah (MRT) untuk menyambung Marina Bay dengan pusat kota. ?Durian? dipenuhkan dengan pelbagai kegiatan setiap hari ? daripada pameran lukisan dan seni tampak serta konsert.

Kuala Lumpur juga mempunyai Auditorium Bandaraya, Panggung Bandaraya dan paling baru Auditorium DBP bagi menampung persembahan bermutu. Untuk pementasan yang lebih kecil Auditorium Tunku Abdul Rahman (dulunya Panggung Matic) boleh dimanfaatkan. Untuk teater yang esperimental sifatnya, DBP menyediakan Stor Teater yang selama ini banyak digunakan aktivis muda.

Saya ingin mencadangkan Panggung Coliseum dijadikan ?Panggung Filem Seni? iaitu filem bermutu tetapi tidak punya tarikan komersial boleh ditayangkan. Filem Hollywood, Bollywood dan filem dari Hong Kong mendominasi panggung komersial kita. Sayang sekali banyak filem bermutu yang terhasil dari pelbagai negara tidak dapat ditayangkan melalui rangkaian sedia ada. Kelab Seni Filem misalnya hanya mampu menayangkan filem yang dianggap klasik. Filem semasa atau kontemporari tidak mampu dibawa masuk.

Panggung Filem Seni ini akan membuka ruang untuk karyawan filem menghayati karya bermutu dari seluruh dunia. Juga mendedahkan penonton tempatan pada filem yang dianggap pengkritik sebagai ?baik?. Bagi saya pendedahan terhadap filem bermutu adalah sebahagian pendidikan seni rakyat yang penting. Kita terlalu banyak menonton filem komersial hingga terlupa banyak filem yang tidak perlu riuh rendah, tidak menggunakan aksi stunt hebat, tidak menggunakan teknologi komputer terkini dan tidak memakan belanja besar yang sebenarnya baik untuk ditonton.

Saya tidak bermaksud kita memperkenalkan karya Akira Kurosawa, Renoir, Francois Truffaut, John Cassavettes, Satyajit Ray atau Mrinal Sen saja. Kita juga perlu melihat secara retrospektif karya karyawan filem kita seperti P Ramlee, Hussein Haniff, Jamil Sulong dan pengarah semasa juga. Atau kita melihat filem karya Garin Nugroho dan kawan-kawan dari Indonesia atau filem keluarga Makhmalbaf (Mohsen dan Samira) dari Iran. Kita berharap rakyat kita akan melihat apa yang berlaku di Iran dengan ?Sinema Islam? yang melahirkan antara lain pengarah seperti Jaafar Panahi, Abbas Kiarostami, Paviz Sayyad, Majid Majidi dan Dariush Mehjui. Kita juga mahu melihat agar filem Amir Muhammad, Nimron, Ho Yuhang, James Lee dan Yasmin Yusuf mendapat tempat sewajarnya. Kita mahu memperkenalkan rakyat kita pada gerakan karyawan filem baru di Thailand, Vietnam dan Taiwan.

KeKKWa di bawah pimpinan Rais membuktikan komitmennya untuk menjadikan negara ini negara yang tidak saja dikenal kerana pembangunan fizikal dan kejayaan dagang. Malaysia juga negara yang rakyatnya punya tamadun dan mampu mengangkat martabat. Maka itu KL sebagai kota utamanya harus memancarkan citra budaya, seni dan warisan yang tersendiri. Sekiranya warga KL tidak mengetahui wujudnya Festival KL 2006 maka salahnya bukan KeKKWa lagi. Selama lebih sebulan KL bersemarak dengan pelbagai persembahan kebudayaan dan kesenian. Tidak kurang 40 aktiviti utama daripada seni pentas, seni tampak, permainan tradisi dan kegiataan kebahasaan dan persuratan disediakan.

KeKKWa mengharapkan Festival KL 2006 akan menjadi manifestasi kehebatan seni dan budaya Malaysia selain mampu mengetengahkan kekayaan, keindahan dan keunikan seni budaya rakyatnya. Apa yang perlu ialah bagi rakyat menghayatinya. Tidak ada maknanya festival segah dan sebesar itu jika warga KL sendiri mengambil sikap tidak peduli. Pada akhirnya apa yang mahu dilakukan KeKKWa ialah memasyarakatkan budaya dan seni. Matlamatnya ialah memastikan pemahaman dan apresiasi seni tidak hanya menjadi milik ekslusif kelompok elit KL.

http://www.bharian.com.my/m/BHarian/Sunday/Rencana/20060805233042/Article/

8/06/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger spyz said...

Art Criticism in Malaysia - The Problem of Writing Malaysian Art
by Eddin Khoo

The roots of the condition have already been outlined, in illuminating ways, by Krishen Jit. Writing in his Introduction for Vision and Idea - Relooking Modern Malaysian Art, he elaborates;
"We know that very little of the writing on modern Malaysian art creates narratives on the meanings of art, its operations and social presence. On the contrary, the most epiphanous of the anecdotal writings on art have a propensity to evoke the mythic, in the sense that they tend to create and deify heroes and heroic moments in art. The mythic quest for a national identity following Independence inspired art critics to ferret individuals and individual achievements in art empathetic with the purpose of creating a new nation. Furthermore, the overriding consciousness of traversing in a relentlessly "developmental" phase in modern art since Independence has induced the birth of heroes poised to act as role-models for future generation of artists."
It must be conceded that, in more recent times, it is a long groan that greets the staging of most individual and collective exhibitions; which makes the serious lack of space for critical evaluation all the more lamentable. If a broad review of critical and historical Malaysian writings were conducted, the inevitable discovery would be a gathering of shards, fragments of writings confined principally to catalogues, articles and reviews and expressed in a vocabulary largely anecdotal and rooted in recollection.
And even within these, there is really little attempt at locating the making, production and staging of Malaysian art works in a critical and historical perspective.
If, as Jit, had observed, art writing in Malaysia demonstrated a "propensity to evoke the mythic," it appears, in more recent times, to have shed even this didactic purpose.
A host of reasons may be advanced for this.
The growing and global reality of art as a commodity, the gradual albeit deliberate abrogation of the importance of cultural activity in Malaysia's public life, the expanding institutionalization and bureaucratization of the experience of culture in Malaysia.
Still, whatever the challenges confronting art and art making in this country, there nevertheless exists an apparent inability (or reluctance) among contemporary art writers to grapple with more expansive complexities - social, political, economic - affecting the practice of contemporary art in Malaysia.
Art writing/criticism proved a belated spawn of art activity in Malaysia. Up till the advent of the formidable Redza Piyadasa-T.K Sabapathy alliance, there were but few attempts at carving a language and attitude conducive to expressing art writing in Malaysia. The writings by Piyadasa-Sabapathy, collected in the seminal "Modern Artists of Malaysia" and later in Vision and Idea, were formative attempts at initiating a tradition of art scholarship that would help inspire a method and perspective for the study and perception of Malaysian art
Yet, several decades on, the work resulting from this partnership remains the only credible effort at creating a sustained meditation on the meaning of art movements in Malaysia while sowing the seeds for the beginnings of a systematic art history tradition for this country.
All writing is essentially an effort at deconstructing authority. The act and art of writing is rooted in a spirit of rebelliousness. In this, it must exist and function in a condition of tension ~ challenging and subverting even as it postures and anticipates being challenged and subverted ~ even if that tension is individually willed.
But the specter haunting art writing in Malaysia today is the very stark absence of any such tension.
Let us then survey the spaces and locations in which art writing operates. Such educational institutions as universities and private colleges, ensnared in institutional agendas and bureaucratic edicts, offer little in the way of autonomous avenues for the contemplation of art criticism and history.
Newspapers and other media, meanwhile, are less willing to provide space and permit the language necessary to conduct a serious discourse on art activity. Catalogues and pamphlets, on the other hand, do little more than advocate the 'worthiness' of the exhibiting artist.
Then, there is the lack of any real self-regulating publishing culture to facilitate independent thinking and writing on art.
It is also becoming increasingly evident that the schemes and structures that once characterized the Malaysian art tradition, namely the art 'movement,' is no longer dominant and writers find themselves existing in an obvious intellectual vacuum. While the passing of the age of the 'grand' art movement is neither tragic nor unwelcome, it has nevertheless created difficulties of perspective and historical location which art writes have yet to address.
The 'crisis' affecting art writing, criticism and history in Malaysia is still part of a broader and perennial malaise that has affected intellectual and artistic activity…the stuff of cultural life…in Malaysia from the very beginning. The oscillation between autonomy and patronage, a result of the purposeful attempts by the state at constructing cultural, has fettered the artist and writer in profound, metaphysical ways. The systems and institutions created around this process, meanwhile, has succeeded in circumscribing critical and independent thinking while containing and neutralizing "alternative" activity.
T.K Sabapathy, in his Afterthoughts in Vision and Idea, employs the Anak Alam movement of the 1970's to illustrate the point;
"The Anak Alam artists strenuously resisted any calls or decrees from official quarters; jealously guarding their options and life styles, they turned towards cultivating intensely subjective reflections on nature, both natural and human, digging deep into and exposing the fragile, threatened conditions of man and the ecology. Even as Anak Alam artists maintained unaffiliated positions, they nevertheless were patronized by the establishment and, what is more, they accepted such support…Even as they ostensibly distance themselves from the establishment, and produce socially engaging, provocative works and are critical of the establishment, even as they situate themselves at the periphery, they also crave for recognition by the center."
A decade on, and representing a succeeding generation of artists, Wong Hoy Cheong, professed similar observations. In an interview with Krishen Jit, he said:
"…the majority of young artists would find no awkward contradictions between rebellion and a need for the support of the dominant art institution. But I see this as a development of a parasitic culture. It is a contradiction that needs to be discussed and confronted although, at this point, I don't know whether this tension can or needs to be resolved. You are critical of the power structures and yet you are dependent on these very powers to legitimate and evaluate the worthiness of your work."
Art writers must perceive themselves as suffering from the same dilemmas. What should distinguish them, however, is the privilege of critical distance afforded by the observer. But such distance only remains a privilege if it is acknowledged and, more importantly, cultivated.
But perhaps this is all making too much of an irredeemable abyss. It must be acknowledged that the contemporary art writer suffers from a serious lack of intellectual rooted-ness. Neither participant in the 'grand movements' of the past, the writer is also a spawn of a decades-long process of systemizing and institutionalizing intellectual life.
The corollary of such a predicament is the need for a process of 'breaking free.' And, idealized act as it may seem, it is also imperative and crucial. For the principal function of the contemporary writer of art (or any other aspect of Malaysian intellectual and cultural life) is to initiate the labor of deconstructing and reassembling.
At a recent forum on "Context and Creativity," organized by the Instant Café Theatre Company, a graduate student of the arts in Malaysia lamented the lack of "alternative narratives" and struck at the heart of the contradictions besetting the contemporary Malaysian writer of art; for these "alternative narratives" though obscured, continue to exist and demand now the act of assemblage and evaluation.

http://www.hbfasia.org/southeastasia/thailand/exhibitions/identitiesversusglobalisation/ivg_debates/art_symposium/eddin_kho.htm

8/06/2006 11:12:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home