French Ghosts

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - People swarmed around under the banyan tree in front of Jakarta Theater, Ismail Marzuki Park, Jakarta. They were waiting for ghosts to be in action after the sun had set.

    The ghosts are two French artists jean Delsaux and Pascale Weber who are teaming up in a group called ‘Hantu’ (ghosts). They took a part in the 2014 Indonesian Dance Festival event.

    A video of indigenous tribes of Mentawai, West Sumatra, was projected onto the white fabric shrouded the tree. The video showed a tribal doctor who was attempting to cure a child with traditional medicine. The doctor was seen to gather kinds of leaves for the procession. Meanwhile, a woman dressed in white appeared between the tree branches. The woman slowly came down from the tree on a rope. The sounds from the video became the background music for Pascale Weber when she was swinging on the rope before she stepped foot on the ground.

    “We want to show urban people about the linearity of nature with its environment,” said Weber who think that the Banyan tree near the small river was a good stage, and will not be found in Europe.

    Weber and Jean have recently visited the Mentawai Tribe for 10 days. They tried to fuse with life in the tribe. Instead of coming as tourists, the artists tried to open door for dialogues with local people. From the dialogue, they created artworks to be presented outside Mentawai.

    DIAN YULIASTUTI