press release

The Stedelijk Museum is pleased to announce the first European solo exhibition of Tromarama. This Indonesian artists' collective experiments with digital imaging technology and is best known for its animations. The exhibition presents a selection of recent animations, as well as a new work, which was created especially for the occasion.

The three members of Tromarama Febie Babyrose (1985, Jakarta), Herbert Hans Maruli (1984, Jakarta) and Ruddy Hatumena (1984, Bahrain), are among the first generation of artists who were confronted with the impact of the digital revolution in Indonesia during the early 2000s. The internet has not only shaped the way they think, but also how they work. In addition to presenting at exhibitions, the collective shares their work via online channels, such as YouTube. Their new work, First Wave, is a classic artist portrait and, at the same time, a multi-layered reflection on how digital technology affects the artists' self-image.

When asked why they specialize in making animated videos, Tromarama reply only half-jokingly, "We love to play god." The exhibition features three animations that combine HD photographs of animated objects, such as shoes, suitcases and green fabric, with images of the urban Indonesian landscape. Tromarama doesn't create flawless illusions: the animations are infused with imperfections, reminding us that we're watching manipulated images of reality. This device serves to accentuate the friction between the materiality of the depicted objects and the digital technology used to animate them.

Through their work, the artists address themes such as progress, modernity, animism, the flow of digital images, and global finances in relation to Indonesia. Their preference for stop motion animation is motivated by a curiosity about the relationships between the past and the present, the traditional and the contemporary, and analogue and digital technologies. Hybridity as a consequence of cultural globalization marks their body of work.

The presentation at the Stedelijk features the new work First Wave (2015), as well as the animations Happy Hour (2010), Unbelievable Beliefs (2012), On Progress (2013) and The Charade (2014). It is accompanied by a catalogue including an interview with the artists by Agung Hujatnikajennong, and an introduction by Kerstin Winking, the exhibition's curator. In July, Tromarama will take over the Stedelijk's Instragram account for 24 hours.

Tromarama's exhibition is part of Global Collaborations, a project that runs from 2013 until the end of 2015 in the Stedelijk Museum and its project space Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. The project, lead by curator Jelle Bouwhuis, aims to introduce a more informed and well-balanced overview of developments in contemporary art from a global perspective, and is based on collaborations with curators and artists whose work deals in various ways with the effects of globalization on different geographical regions.