A+ WORKS of ART is pleased to present
Nadiah Bamadhaj, The Reckoning
2021, charcoal on paper collage, 292 × 225 × 20 cm
8 July — 31 August 2021
Jogja National Museumwww.artjog.id
This artwork is inspired by the story of Calon Arang, who lived in Kediri in East Java in the 12th century in the Kingdom of Erlangga. She had the reputation of a fearsome widow and witch. Due to her reputation, no one would ask the hand of her daughter in marriage. For that reason, Calon Arang cast a plague upon Erlangga’s Kingdom, causing the death of thousands of his subjects.
This work looks at sexism in old age, which is also embedded in the story of Calon Arang. If one is a widow (both impure and unmarried) or is elderly (no longer sexually attractive or reproductive), one is, as is defined by numerous stories and folklore, a witch: a harbinger of chaos to the social order.
The disruption to social order is commonly regarded as caused by women — if they are sexually active before marriage, if they are sexually active outside of marriage, if they are menopausal and no longer sexually desirable — all these choices imply a figure that can turn, at any moment, into a harbinger of chaos. If any of these choices are taken by men, none of the same consequences apply.
In this work, I assert that this aged women, inspired by Calon Arang, has cast a plague upon the “kingdom” because she has been consistent portrayed negatively, due to her age. She is tired of the sexist double standards of patriarchy — that the negativity applied to her sexuality is not applied to men, and that the representation of her menopausal state is more often associated with witchcraft and chaos. And it is for that reason she has cast a plague on the land in the form of a virus.Nadiah Bamadhaj, featuring Senyawa. ARTJOG 2021