Urban Play—Playing Data is the culmination of a one-month residency in Boston by Jakarta-based artists Tita Salina and Irwan Ahmett. The performance is participatory and incorporates found objects that the artists have collected over the course of their residency. The event will take place outdoors on the MFA’s campus on Friday, July 8, 2016.
Generated through exploration of neighborhoods near the Museum and collaboration with individuals living and working there, the performance is a new iteration of the series Urban Play, which addresses local spaces, groups, and issues that are neglected or taken for granted. The artists’ playful and provocative social practice emerged from their experiences living in Jakarta, Indonesia, one of the most densely inhabited cities in the world. Community engagement is central to their practice, with the goal of inspiring local audiences to see their own cities in a new light. While they have staged Urban Play in seven cities across Asia and Europe to date, Salina and Ahmett’s project in Boston will be the first time it comes to the US.
This performance is timed to coincide with “Megacities Asia,” the MFA’s exhibition of large-scale sculpture and installation by artists who live and work in Asian cities of more than ten million people. With about 10.1 million inhabitants, metro Jakarta is home to more than one-fifth of Indonesia’s urban population.
Salina and Ahmett’s work in Boston is the longest continuous residency of international artists supported by the Museum Council Artist-in-Residency Program Fund. Museum Council members are invited to a Q&A event with the artists on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm. This is an exciting opportunity for Council members to hear about the artistic process behind the project.