From Andrew Frost…
Artist Keg de Souza has been working with the residents of the squatter settlement Kali Code – a sprawling township that lies next to Yogyakarta’s main river – since the mid-2000s. De Souza’s various past projects have explored life in one of Indonesia’s biggest cities and the resulting videos, photos and collaborative drawing and mapping projects describe a rich and detailed culture.
For her latest work, If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood…, the result of an Asialink residency, the artist has produced a video that looks at the efforts of local government authorities to move out residents for a full scale commercial redevelopment of the site. The settlement is the home of many generations of residents – and not all of them still alive since the site not only contains make shift housing but also the graves of previous residents. According to de Souza, “…due to the history of this place, tombstones are still visible in the walls of the kampung (neighbourhood) and ghost activity is abundant. For years people in the area have relied heavily on the local ghost buster/negotiator/expert to move the ghosts out of their houses, but these paranormal evictions are now becoming an uncanny parallel for their own evictions in the living world.”
First staged in Ratmakan kampung in October 2014 as an inflatable ghost house, Rumah Hantu, with an embroidered interior that was created from drawings by the local kids of their ghost stories – and following tour of regional galleries in NSW, the work arrives at Alaska projects until the end off the month.
Until March 29
Alaska Projects, Kings Cross
Pic: Keg De Souza, If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, 2015.