Menyunting Arsip / Editing the Archive. Resequencing the Tillema Collection

Exhibition and workshops

August 3 – 5, 2022

Menyunting Arsip / Editing the Archive. Resequencing the Tillema Collection is an experimental documentary film, produced by Paoletta Holst and Paolo Patelli during a series of workshops and exhibitions over the last couple of years. Staged through workshops and exhibitions it initiates a participatory kind of archival film-making.

As part of Gudskul’s program for documenta fifteen, the collection of photographs produced and collected by Hendrik Freerk Tillema (1878-1952) during his time in the colonial Indonesia was reproduced in Jakarta, and made available to the contributors, who composed cinematic sequences by selecting, manipulating, editing and screening the materials, while providing the voice-overs. To facilitate collaborative making, we designed and built a stage set consisting of a curtain blackbox surrounded by the reproduced Collection, printed on acetate sheets and pinned on the walls. A light box served for editing the materials, and a custom made light projector for screening the sequences cinematically.

H.F. Tillema was a Dutch pharmacist, entrepreneur, self-taught ethnographer and photographer, lobbyist and advocate for hygienic standards in the colonies, who lived in Semarang, in the former Dutch East Indies, for twenty years of his life up until WWI. With several cholera epidemics in the background, he built the first purified water bottling factory in the Indies. This enterprise made him rich; it opened for him doors to exclusive industrialists’ clubs and local and national politics. Importantly, it directly supported his expeditions, observations and (self published) publications.

In 1938, Tillema bequeathed his library and archive to the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden, including roughly 11.000 black and white photographs, of which 5.000 were taken by Tillema himself. Today the majority of the prints and negatives are located in the Museum voor Volkenkunde, organised rather arbitrarily in albums without thematic or chronological consistency. Some materials are held by the Tropenmuseum, and copies of his silent films are kept in the Eye film museum.

It is possible to recognise, beneath Tillema’s technical, hygienist stance, a specific way of looking. The project asks if a mobilisation and a critical rearrangement of the collection can challenge and produce alternatives to its dominant line of argumentation and framing.

The results remain an open, non–linear montage project.

September 15 – October 23, 2022

In Gallery 3 at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, the Gudskul working space was restaged and extended as part of an ongoing dialogue, and continuation of the open editing process. Several guests and participants contributed by listening to and learning from the narratives and sequences that were produced in Jakarta. They commented on Tillema’s texts and publications, and produced a series of critical questions, or ‘inter-titles’ that will be used in the film as well.

Ahmad Khairudin (Hysteria), Alec Steadman, Angga Cipta (Cut and Rescue), Anitha Silvia, Apriani Sarashayu, Arif Furqan (Unhistoried), Bangkit Mandela, Bunga Siagian, Dwi Asrul Fajar, Gregorius Jasson, Guda M. Suhardi, Ika Vantiani, Indriatma Sitorus, Ivan Sujana, Moch Krismon Ariwijaya (Kecoak Timur), Muhammad Arif Budiman (Hysteria), Muhammad Yogi Fajri, Muntaz K. Chopan, Paoletta Holst, Paolo Patelli, Rara Sekar, Reza Kutjh (Unhistoried), Rifandi Septiawan Nugroho (Gudskul), Rizki Lazuardi, Rizqi Maulana (Kecoak Timur), Robin Hartanto Honggare, Sabine Groenewegen, Sanne Oorthuizen, Setiadi Sopandi, Simon Danang Anggoro, Tesaran (Cut and Rescue), Tubagus Rahmat, Wandri Dami

Paoletta Holst and Paolo Patelli

Robin Hartanto Honggare, Rifandi Septiawan Nugroho and Angga Cipta

Studio GISTO (Alessandro Mason, Pietro Lora)

Melvin Wevers (University of Amsterdam)

Jakarta: Adythia Utama, Raden Anom Prakoso and Wandri Dami
Rotterdam: Simaa Al-saig

Budiman Setiawan, Serrum Art Handling, M. Sigit Budi Santoso, Fathan Mubin, Maul

Research Center for Material Culture, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie

20 September 2022

As part of the Thursday Night Live program and in collaboration with Collecting Otherwise, we organized a discussion around time-based interventions in the archive at Het Nieuwe Instituut

We explored artistic interventions with film, projections and other manifestations of the moving image, together with Collecting Otherwise member Hannah Dawn Henderson who presented her newest film on the Collection’s depot and archive of Het Nieuwe Instituut. The conversation welcomed as respondent the curator Astrid Korporaal.

Collecting Otherwise:
Time-based Interventions in the Archive 

With: Collecting Otherwise, Hannah Dawn Henderson, Astrid Korporaal, Paoletta Holst and Paolo Patelli

Simaa Al-saig