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Soft Power >< With All Reasons and Decisions

In collaboration with Galeri Langgeng, ArtSociates initiated Dogmatic Desire, a solo exhibition by Mujahidin Nurrahman. Curated by Rifky Effendi, this exhibition demonstrated Mujahidin’s familiar artistic practices, as well as the most recent and developed approach. There was a series of artworks, with arabesque motifs comprised with the images of rifles, bullets, and missile rockets; the main characteristics of Mujahidin’s artworks that symbolically represented the politics and violence in religious conflicts. These gestures and symbols were articulated through papercut technique – all handmade with excellent craftsmanship – alongside another medium such as video and installation, still in alignment to his ornamental paper craft pattern. Mujahidin opted for a more essential subject in this exhibition: the basic instinct of humankind, to ravage and lay waste to each other. Referring to Roland Barthes, that behavioral pattern is not naturally present, but culturally constructed through a power play of an individual, a certain group or a certain faction, with full awareness or unintentionally. Thus, Mujahidin attempted to reinterpret this connection between the legacy of doctrines and the politics of violence, and how it manifested into conflicts and acts of terrorism.