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Dipping in Kool Aid

An Exhibition of Prison Art at Tony Raka Art Gallery March 4-31, 2018
Dipping in the Kool Aid – an exhibition of works of art created by prisoners in Bali and organized by Mary Lou Pavlovic will be held at the Tony Raka Art Gallery in Mas, Ubud for almost the entire month of March 2018
This exhibition celebrates the artistic interactions of Indonesian and Australian artists with prisoners who are incarcerated in Indonesian jails. Collectively, their interests center around the socially beneficial roles played by the prisoner as artist/artistic collaborator, and the artist as prisoners. 

Examining the role of aesthetics in socially engaged exhibitions, they ask: How might the consideration of aesthetics contribute to political readings of the works on display? 

Dipping in the Kool Aid grows from an experimental laboratory run by artists working predominantly in Bali’s Klungkung Prison.
Among the artists and collaborations included in the exhibition are:
  • Djunaidi Kenyut, who invites prisoners to make self-portraits by etching their own facial features onto postcard-size mirrors.
  • Mary Lou Pavlovic’s Preserving Life Workshop, undertaken with female prisoners, develops a large wall work featuring flowers and deceased butterflies that are donated by the local butterfly park.
  • Imam Sucahyo creates a large multimedia drawing with his imprisoned friend upon visits the Turban Prison in East Java.
  • Elizabeth Gower creates three hundred and sixty-five fragile paper collage “rotations” with prisoners, with materials sourced from discarded packaging in the prison cafe. 
Angki Purbandono
The exhibition also includes works by Indonesian artist Angki Purbandono, who was incarcerated for one year in Yogyakarta (2013) for smoking marijuana. 
Angki, refusing to accept his imprisonment, famously declared instead that he was undertaking an artist’s residency, and taught a guard how to take photographs. While in prison, Angki also established the Prison Art Program, a group of inmates and ex-inmates who exhibit art inside and outside the jail. 
The group has formed The Prison Art Foundation (Yayasan Seni Penjara) and artworks by the founding members are also included in the exhibition.
Dipping in Kool Aid 
The exhibition borrows its title from the old American prison slang for entering uninvited into a conversation, 
Dipping in the Kool Aid also features studio works by internationally renowned artists Rodney Glick and Mangu Putra. 
The supervising organizer of the exhibition, Mary Lou Pavlovic, is an artist who lives and works between Bali, Indonesia, and Mittagong, Australia. In 2015, she completed a PhD at Monash University, Melbourne, about beauty and how it may be associated with progressive politics in visual arts. As part of her PhD program, Pavlovic received an Endeavour Award Research Fellowship to examine how her studio work was affected by Balinese culture, this forming the reason she moved to Bali. In 2015, after visiting those incarcerated in Indonesian jails, she helped establish an art program in a jail, as prisoners stated they had little constructive activity. 
Pavlovic is represented by Tony Raka Art Gallery in Bali, Indonesia and the apexart’s programs, supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Buhl Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation, Affirmation Arts Fund, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Fifth Floor Foundation, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. 
Dipping in Kool Aid
An Exhibition of Prison Art
Tony Raka Gallery
March 4 to 31, 2018
Jalan Raya Mas No. 86 – Mas, Ubud, Bali