Garden Amidst the Flame is commissioned and produced by Auto Italia, London in partnership with La Becque, Tour-de-Peilz, Stroom Den Haag, The Hague and Shedhalle, Zurich.
Garden Amidst the Flame is also shown concurrently with Protozone8 Queer Trust in a solo exhibition at Auto Italia, London, 16.09.-04.12.22, as part of the group exhibition From the Sea to the Clouds to the Soil at Stroom Den Haag 01.10.-18.12.22 and as part of a screening at La Becque, La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland on 20.09.22 at 19:00 (with Natasha Tontey).
As part of Queer Trust’s Hi-Intensity phase, Natasha Tontey hosts a reading and listening session on Sunday afternoon, 18.09. at 15:30 at Shedhalle.
“Expanding my artistic research in Minahasan cosmology, in this new film work, Garden Amidst the Flame, I will develop a queering approach in understanding one of the main ritual ceremonies in Minahasa society, Karai. Karai is a ritual in which Minahasan warriors are “dressed” with invincible armour to make them invulnerable to tribe war.
In contemporary Minahasa, Karai is mostly understood as a hyper-masculine ritual as most of the participants are male tribesmen. However, in this work, based on my research and experience, I will explore the potential idea of speculative care in Karai. As this ritual is closely connected to the notion of wear, symbols, and clothes, and considering that in the mythology of Minahasan cosmos that the world is not a heternormative playground, I will observe the possibility of destabilising and reconfiguring the assumption of Karai in relation to the idea of care and invulnerability instead of aggression and masculinity.” – Natasha Tontey
Garden Amidst the Flame is commissioned and produced by Auto Italia, London in partnership with La Becque, Tour-de-Peilz; Stroom Den Haag, The Hague and Shedhalle, Zurich; with additional support from the Governance of North Sulawesi, Bank SulutGo, and the Department of Tourism and Culture of North Sulawesi.
Written and Directed by Natasha Tontey
Produced by B.M. Anggana
Director of Photography and Lighting Director Aditya Krisnawan
Production Designer Arda Awigarda
Art Director Agge Akbar
Music Director Harsya Wahono (Divisi62)
Sound Recordist Alan Daru Wicaksana
Make-up Artist Jacky Armando Kabo
Line Producer Jein Byl
Assistant Director Yusuf Breyvi Talanggai
Kawasaran Wulan Lengkoan, Yoppy Pesik, Filadelfia Lolowang, and M.T. Kembuan.
Natasha Tontey is a multidisciplinary artist of Minahasan ancestry based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Her work reimagines the ancient knowledge and technologies of Minahasan cosmology. Based on these pre-colonial and non-Western viewpoints and through experimental digital technology, Tontey presents proposals for new environmental and ecological worldviews.
She explores fiction as a method of speculative thinking, investigating how fear, horror, and terror can be manifested through media to control the general public. She works with 3D design, modeling and animation to create moving image works, alongside sculpture and performance.
Tontey has exhibited internationally at Transmediale, Berlin (2021), Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2020), Cemeti Institute for Art and Society, Yogyakarta (2019), Liquid Architecture, Melbourne (2019), K4, Oslo (2019), Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart (2019), Kyoto Art Center (2018), Indonesian Dance Festival, Jakarta (2018), Next Wave Festival, Melbourne (2016) and Koganecho Bazaar, Yokohama (2015) amongst others.
She was awarded prizes including the Human Machine Fellowship at Akademie der Künst, Berlin (2021), the Young Artist Award ArtJog MMXIX, Yogyakarta (2019) and the HASH Award (2020) for Net-Based Projects at Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2019).