September 29, 2023 – October 2, 2023

Kayu – Lucie Fontaine’s branch in Bali, Indonesia – in collaboration with Project Etere [PE]* is pleased to present “Alternates Teaser,” the prototype of the upcoming** VR movie Alternates by Jonathan Hagard at PE#1 – Contemporary Artisanal Studio Apartment in Bali.

This four-day presentation on September 29-30 and October 1-2 is part of the site-specific residency program titled “Domesticity – Residency Program,” which reflects on the concept of domesticity and its relationship – or lack thereof – between contemporary art and domestic spaces; it is also the second of a series of collaborations between Kayu and PE, which consists of a series of site specific-specific interventions at PE #1 on the theme of the domestic, which investigates its connection to the notion of intimacy within a dynamic branch of architecture advocating for social and collective changes.

Following such premises, Kayu invited Jonathan Hagard for one month of residency at PE#1 in 2022. Following collaborative thinking, the artist decided to make research for his new VR movie Alternates inspired in part by Project Etere. The movie, selected for the Venice Gap-Financing Market in Venice in 2022, is an animated VR video, which visually transports the viewer to a neighborhood of Ubud in Bali, where the Balinese traditional culture has disappeared.

The story of Alternates takes place on the second floor of an abandoned house in Ubud, Bali, during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the spring of 2020, in the midst of an economic and health crisis. The viewer witnesses the story of the inhabitants of the building; particularly the real world focuses on the villager outcast while the alternative reality focuses on the eldest daughter of the owner of the house. The reference is to the urban, environmental, political and cultural transformations that the Indonesian island of Java has undergone from 1980 to the present day, and which Hagard had developed in his previous VR film, Replacement, exhibited in “Domesticity IX” at Kayu in 2022. During this period, many signs of the island’s traditions and heritage disappeared to make room for the so-called “Muslim megacities.” The video shows a hypothetical Bali if, a century earlier, it had taken the same path of its neighboring island of Java, in a scenario in which the cultural foundations have partially disappeared due to uncontrolled economic and urban development.

The main locations in which the film is set, as well as some characters, are the same as in PE#1; the apartment becomes the exhibition space of this presentation in which the public and guests who will stay in the house*** will be able to experience the VR film in situ, walking around the apartment, interacting with the space, experiencing as it was in the past and as it could be in different or future eras.

Jonathan Hagard (born 1986) is a French-Indonesian director, animator and illustrator based in Kyoto, Japan. Through documentaries and animated fiction, based on his experiences and research in sprawling cities like Tokyo and Jakarta, Hagard represents one of the most distinct and original voices of his generation and a true witness to the accelerated development of Southeast Asia and beyond.

The VR movie will be on view everyday, from 2:00PM to 5:00PM, at PE#1 – Contemporary Artisanal Studio Apartment, Jl. Nagasari No. 2, Ubud, Bali. For more information, please contact Lucie Fontaine’s employee in Bali

* PE is an experimental and collaborative architectural project that attempts at synthesizing and connecting the seemingly disparate realms of real estate development, social impact and contemporary art. PE aims at connecting architecture, design, art and economy, shaping the environment with an ethical and sustainable approach and to formulate an alternative architectural development model that is informed by the careful observation of a specific urban fabric and its relationship with the social and cultural context that exists within it. The main idea of PE is essentially to select an abandoned, unfinished or “dormant” building in Bali, which suffers from real estate speculations. After mapping and scouting for potential project locations, PE identifies one of these “dormant buildings,” with the aim of renting the property from its Balinese owners in order to develop the existing structure following the principles of sustainability, social impact and craftsmanship, creating a new flow of ethically and mutually beneficial economy – a “win-win” situation. In this regard, the pursuit of the ideals of a “win-win economy” is driven by a sincere impulse to resist profit maximization strategies as a project operating in the field of real estate development; such impulse prioritizes the socio-cultural effects of a completed property rather than its overall monetary success. The contractual control of each property will depend on the financial investments required by PE to design, build and increase the monetary value of the property for a contractual duration sufficient for a “return on investment” and moderate income. Following the completion of the aforementioned contractual agreement, the project will be returned to the owner’s family as a fully functional and rentable property, which will allow them to benefit from a long-term debt of passive income. For the first project, PE has identified a property in Penestanan, which is part of Ubud. The property exists on the second floor of a pre-existing garage and room used for the creation of Balinese religious offerings and for the activities of the family that owns the property. The second floor, rented by PE, was in an unfinished state; it consisted of four columns and a Balinese-style roof. The business plan was chosen by PE’s team in harmony with the main economy of the area in which the property is located; in fact Penestanan is one of the most touristic areas of Ubud whose main economy is based on business hospitality.

** Alternates will be released on autumn 2024.

*** The VR set containing the film teaser Alternates, along with the film Replacements are permanently installed at PE#1 alongside Gower’s art installation, previously created for “Domesticity VIII” in 2021

Image: Jonathan Hagard, Alternates, 2022. Video still. Courtesy of the artist.


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