Jompet Kuswidananto (b. 1976, Yogyakarta, Indonesia) is a visual artist first trained as a musician. He is well known for his mechanized theatrical installations, often incorporating video and sound. Jompet’s diverse art playfully responds to the memory and ceremony of a nation, often utilizing little-known historical texts to provoke representations of social control as a militarized, religious, and culturally restrictive phenomenon.
Jompet studied Communications at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta with the Faculty of Social and Political Science. Since 1998, he has been a member of ‘Teater Garasi’, an interdisciplinary performance collective built on the belief that the performing arts is a way to process and produce knowledge that dialectically engages its social-political environment.
Jompet currently lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
In this work, shot in black and white, a man performs the Jathilan dance – an Indonesian trance of folk origin that invites the ancestor spirits to enter the body of the dancer and occupy his consciousness. It is said that the power of dance and music are used in the jathilan to channel powerful, sometimes terrifying, forces.