Jumat, Desember 30, 2016

rant on narcissism

Once, I read an article about a casual analysis of Cersei Lannister--y'know, that bitch from the Game of Thrones. It is said that Cersei might suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Well it is quite obvious to see how she consider herself (and sometimes her family-household) as the central point for everything; and how she believe herself to be better than everyone else. But upon reading the article, I can't help but wondering, am I falls into the her category as well, even for a small percentage of my personality?
Today I feel amazingly frustrated by how stupid every people around me (especially men) behaved. I'm a nice person (cursed me!), but should I drank a glass of verita serum, I'd sure be emasculating their intellect there and then. Gosh, does that mean that I'm a narcissistic bitch deep inside? People said I'm picky when it comes to friends and boys, but to be honest, I'm secretly undermining most people around me. There are a number of people I regarded as someone I look up to; but more often than not, I find they to be annoyingly & uninterestingly  dull too :(
Gosh, I might be a narcissist indeed.  Oh joy, I'm a Cersei instead of a Daenerys :( And I know, if I can't bend this perspective, I soon meet my (social) doom...

Kamis, Desember 08, 2016

I don't want to believe, I want to know...

This is why, being skeptical is necessary...
And this post is a kind of self-remedy, after seeing how my fellow citizens of this country had been behaving lately :(

Rabu, November 23, 2016

A Beautiful Coming of Age Ballad

Contemplate this: a source material written by a beloved prolific novelist; a prodigy director at the peak of his creativity; four casts of a very talented young boys, whose personality matched their characters perfectly they practically played themselves;  and a script so well written it was almost beat the source material itself. Well, it turns out the combination of those quality will result in a “one of the kind” movie, evidenced here by Rob Reiner’s “Stand by Me”.

Stand by Me (SbM) was an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella “The Body”, and as King’s fans would have already know, it’s not a horror story at all, it’s a coming of age story which—just like many teen stories in general—deals with the quirks of growing up.  But SbM stands out because it has a certain darkness to it, well as you might expect of King’s work.  I myself haven’t read the novella, so I don’t know how far the adaptation differ from the source material, but from what I gathered, the script was so brilliant, that King himself has mentioned that of many of his works’ adapted movies,  SbM is the best he has yet to enjoyed—it’s interesting to note that he really dislike Stanley Kubrick’s “the Shining”, and prefer this family drama over the critically acclaimed film (hmmm…).

I already fallen in love with Rob Reiner’s later work “the Princess Bride”, so I knew what kind of quality I’ll find in SbM before I got  the chance to watched it. But apart from Reiner’s brilliant directing, I find that the story itself served as the main ingredients to the movie’s appeal. SbM main premise is the story of a two days adventure, ventured by four friends in their early teens on finding a dead body. Yes a-dead-body, just as expected from Stephen King, this story deals with dark themes. But even if death might be a constant motif of the movie, but I’d rather highlights it on it’s  realistic depiction of life itself. So, yes, the movie’s motif in my perspective is about life, with its gritty and harsh reality.

The ragtag team of the main characters consist of: Gordie Lachance, the smart-quiet-awkward one, who serves as the movie narrator; Chris Chamber, the mature and the peace maker of the group and Gordie’s best friend; Teddy Duchamp, the wild card and the most problematic kid in the group; and Vern Tessio, the chubby and slow yet lovable one, who served as a comic-relief in the story.

Narrated by the adult Gordie, the story begin with a tragic news of Chris’s death years after the main story occurred. Gordie, upon reading the news, then commemorate the fateful two days of his teen-hood, where a missing boy has been a headline in their small town newspaper for days. Vern who accidently listened to  his delinquent brother chatting up his friend about the possible location of the missing boy’s dead body, decided to tell his friends about it. Excited of the possibility of being a local heroes, the four friends decided to embark on the journey to find the dead body.

The journey reveals that each boy bear their own personal demons but each has their own way to deal with it, and this is where we find the jewel of the story. Teddy revealed to be an abused child whose father, who was a survivor of the WW2, burnt his child’s ear as a result for his unstable mentality. But on top of it all, Teddy still adore his lunatic father to the point of going berserk when one of the townsfolk mocked his father. Chris who came from a family packed with criminals, suffered from the townsfolk’s typecasting who labeled him as a delinquent. But apart from his family background Chris is shown to be a wise child, mature beyond his age; he often served as the peacemaker of the group and always looking out for his friend’s well-being, especially Gordie. Chubby and joyful Vern, who always targeted to be bullied by  his own friends is shown to be an easygoing and fun-loving child, always forgiving to whatever his friends antics. And then Gordie, whose at the time of the story just came out of a grieving period after his older brother’s death, was despairing because his parents—grief-stricken by their son’s loss—abandoned Gordie for the memory of the more favorable son. Yet Gordie enjoyed their traveling, acted as the rational one, always ready for practical solutions  at hand.

 As I mentioned before, death is the motif of the movie, as proven by how many time it served as a plot-device to run the narration. First it was served as Gordie’s plot, for as the story goes, viewers learns that Gordie was haunted by the memory of his older brother’s death; Second it was the main plot for the story, for the main mission of the casts is to find a dead body in order to be heroes at their hometown. And the last one, is Chris’s death which triggered Gordie as the narrator, to tell us (the viewers) about his and friend’s story on that fateful days.

But even we find deaths all over the story, we also learned that life is the essence of the story too; and that goodness and kindness is the main engine of life itself. It’s what breaths out interesting tales in the world. At the climax when Gordie broke down at the sight of the dead body, he mourned the folly of the world: how death can win over life, and how the memory of a death sibling can win over his need for his parent’s affection. Chris’s insistence that Gordie deserved a brighter future (even deserved it more than his favorable deceased brother) became a touch of kindness, the assurance that the insecure Gordie needs. Even as the epilogue rolls out and reveals a realistic ending (Chris’s death, Teddy’s bleak adult life; and Vern’s average-mediocre life) we can gathered that in that fateful two days of their teen-hood, the friends will always remember and cherish the kindness and goodness they’ve shared, no matter what place they ended up later on their life. Just like the last sentence the adult Gordie wrote in his computer: “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” 

Rabu, November 09, 2016


he's right... sigh

Sabtu, Oktober 29, 2016

Charles Bukowski (1920 - 1994)

don't forget
there is always somebody or something
waiting for you,
something stronger, more intelligent,
more evil, more kind, more durable,
something bigger, something better,
something worse, something with
eyes like the tiger, jaws like the shark,
something crazier than crazy,
saner than sane,
there is always something or somebody
waiting for you
as you put on your shoes
or as you sleep
or as you empty a garbage can
or pet your cat
or brush your teeth
or celebrate a holiday
there is always somebody or something
waiting for you.

keep this fully in mind
so that when it happens
you will be as ready as possible.

meanwhile, a good day to
if you are still there.
I think that I am---
I just burnt my fingers on

Senin, Oktober 24, 2016

untitled #4

I’d like to learn
To be poetic like you…
To feel, to taste, to vent, to escape
To be beautiful and young…
In the feebleness of other’s departure, you came...
Don’t you know?

I’d like to know you more

Jumat, Oktober 21, 2016

Taking refuge in a funny-ironic comic XD

To be honest, this is the main reason I don't do any social media anymore XD... I am indeed an envious little biatch :3

Senin, Oktober 03, 2016

Untitled #3

Pushing through the funk... -_-

Sabtu, Oktober 01, 2016

Untitled #2

Aaand now, I hereby declare a break from nihilistic atmosphere from Palahniuk's works XD.
I actually received two Palahniuk's books as a birthday gifts, but drenching yourself in their nihilistic agenda is not a wise thing to do. So those book shall wait for a while. Although I still get that feeling of addiction toward the blackish-comedy of his works, but it gets into your daily life sometimes. I mean every materials you read, or watch, or heard, will affected your life somehow. So reading a negativity-induced novel in a row will do your life no good :D
Currently reading on "On Criticism" by Noel Carrolll--a very sharp opinionated book in the area of critics, although focusing more in art critics--but since I left the copy back at my boss' place, as a substitute, I idly took out one of my old Dawkins' book out of the shelf. It's titled "The Greatest Show on Earth". Been reading this since 2011, and I don't think I've ever manage to finished  it. Read it from the very beginning, starting off  with the preface; and it somehow reminds me of his writing style which is a little bit snobbish. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind him being snobbish at all, it even amuses me, remembering his hard agenda to take down creationism. Being overtly intellectual (in style) in his book brings a few notes for us who are sympathetic for his cause; it's like an ironic gesture from his part to highlight how foolish his opponent has been.
But apart from this funny aspect of the book, well it's a fun material to read, and it's an encyclopedic ride all along. And I just realized, my English skill must has been improving, because I read this copy much more pleasing; better than 5 years a go...

Senin, September 26, 2016

Untitled #1

"My heart is a dead time bomb drooling decayed corruption"
Said Madison Spencer, the snarkiest post-alive teenage girl ever. Can her description of her pitiful soul can go bleaker than that? No I don't think people (the normal ones at least) could come up with crazy sentence like that. 
It's an excerpt from Doomed, 2nd book of Palahniuk's trilogy of DamnedI've been unapologetically drenched in a pessimistic & snarky mood for the past week because of the book. It's funny to find it relaxing to surrender yourself to the bleakish perspective of life. To give yourself up to apathy and be negative towards everything. I guess nihilism has got a good point & perhaps it matches my "murphy's law" way of seeing the world. 

Minggu, September 18, 2016


Woke up with a realization that everything is inevitably nihilistic *loongsigh*
The central point of the problem lies within my lack of beliefs, whether it be a systemical belief or faith in an existential manner. You know the Kubler-Ross model of grief, the one which describe grief in phases such as: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, & acceptance. I for one believe, that we shall add a subsequent phase: apathy.
Apathy is the core corollary of nihilism I supposed. What to do when everything is skeptically important anymore? well be bored and get apathical I guess.
My boss told me I was so expert on shooing men away. It seems such a proudful gesture, but no, really, I don't mean to be picky or anything, or have a certain belief that I deserve a particular qualities in men. No, the reason is actually stemmed in my apathy towards life. I'm at a point in  which when I'm hopeful about something it will only gets me alerted; for I believe hope is toxic and will trap you in expectations, which many times cheated on you.
I don't do any art (just a bunch of petty projects to gets life going), I don't want a permanent relationship (& never had a serious one), I don't open my self too much to people; cause I know nil is the inevitable quality of life.
Just like old Eric Idle said: you come from nothing to nothing, what are you losing? Nothing..!

Kamis, Agustus 25, 2016


I supposed to sketch a concept design for a playground or something, but got caught up in the "speculative-realism rush". Call it a natural curiosity or just part of therapeutic side of philosophical inquiry, but I really-really need to follow this brilliant movement. As a critic of those wobbly school--the so-called--relativists (cont.philosophy, postmodernism, etc.), and more fangirling over the analytic phil., I find that speculative realism answered the need of philosophy in the era of progressing science such as today. I'll write a more serious entry later, then...

Selasa, Juni 28, 2016

"As You Wish"

 Film, dengan segala potensinya sebagai medium narasi, memang memiliki gravitasi tersendiri dibandingkan media lainnya. Dengan durasi yang relatif pendek, film harus diracik dengan penuh pertimbangan agar mampu menyampaikan pesan, meninggalkan kesan, dan tentunya memenuhi standar kualitas tertentu—sesuai dengan harapan para pemirsanya. Seringkali kita tak bisa menunjuk secara tepat mengapa sebuah film disebut berkualitas. Satu yang pasti, sebuah film bisa dibilang “bagus” karena ia bisa dinikmati dan berhasil mengikat perhatian kita selama sekian puluh menit, sedari awal semenjak judul digelar, hingga saat daftar kredit diputar. “The Princess Bride” (TPB) saya kira adalah salah satu contoh film macam ini. Ia mampu membuat penonton larut dalam pesonanya, padahal jika mengacu pada standar umum TPB dikemas seacara sederhana tanpa bintang terkenal dan efek-efek komputer yang dramatis.

Dari judulnya yang kurang seksi  saja, kita bakal curiga jika TPB hanya akan menjanjikan kisah dongeng zaman kerajaan yang membosankan. Tapi coba tanya pada mereka yang pernah menontonnya, saya yakin anda akan dihujani dengan berbagai alasan mengapa film yang diangkat dari novel berjudul sama ini wajib ditonton. Diproduksi pada tahun 1987, film besutan Rob Reiner ini  memang tak bertaburan bintang hebat dan bahkan tak pernah memenangkan penghargaan bergengsi apapun. Dilakoni Robin Wright dan Cary Elwes  sebagai duo bintang utama, kekuatan “The Princess Bride” agaknya memang  terletak pada kepiawaian William Goldman sebagai scrip-writer (yang juga merupakan penulis novel TPB) dalam mengolah plot dan merancang cerita.
Premis utama film ini sebenarnya cukup sederhana, yakni kisah keteguhan hati dua tokoh utamanya—Buttercup (Wright) dan Westley (Elwes)—untuk bersatu dalam ikatan cinta sejati. Perjalanan kisah cinta mereka yang berjalinan dengan kisah-kisah dari tokoh lainnya, terutuhkan menjadi cerita yang cerdas , yang selain diramu sebagai drama juga dihiasi oleh komedi dalam kadar kuantitas dan kualitas yang demikian pas. Perlu diketahui di awal, The Princess Bride (TPB) memang diperuntukkan oleh segala usia, namun saya kira penonton tak perlu kuatir dengan resiko akan munculnya pesan-pesan moral yang kelewat menggurui seperti yang sering ditemui di film-film keluarga lainnya. The Princess Bride boleh jadi mampat oleh pesan akan nilai-nilai luhur kesetiaan, sikap ksatria dan cinta sejati, namun alur ceritanya yang sungguh mengasyikkan, ditambah  dengan karakter-karakter tokohnya yang unik sekaligus absurd, dan tak lupa bumbu humor yang segar di sana sini; sanggup mengalihkan perhatian kita dari aspek menggurui khas film kanak-kanak.

Disampaikan secara meta-naratif, film ini dibuka dengan adegan seorang kakek yang membacakan buku  pada cucunya yang sedang sakit (dimainkan dengan sangat cemerlang oleh Fred Savage, yang kala itu digadang-gadang sebagai bintang cilik penuh potensi). Penonton kemudian digiring pada kisah awal buku yang menggambarkan betapa Buttercup dan Westley sedari mula memang telah amat saling mencintai. Terpaksa berpisah karena Westley harus menyeberangi lautan untuk mencari peruntungan demi meminang Buttercup, kisah cinta muda-mudi ini lekas diputus takdir, saat Westley diberitakan telah meninggal di tangan Robert si Bajak Laut Kejam.
Patah hati dan memutuskan untuk tak pernah jatuh cinta lagi, lima tahun kemudian Buttercup dikisahkan akan menikahi pangeran Humperdinck tanpa dilandasi cinta. Terpaksa menikahi yang sang putera mahkota kerajaan Florin di luar kemauannya, Buttercup sering mencari ketenangan dengan berkuda sendirian, hingga suatu hari ia disergap oleh tiga orang bandit di sebuah hutan sepi. Tiga bandit yang terdiri dari Vizzini si kurcaci super cerdas dan penipu ulung, Inigo Montoya si master anggar yang berasal dari Spanyol, dan Fezzik yang bertubuh bak raksasa dan gemar sekali berpantun. Jangan salah ketiga bandit ini bukan penculik biasa, mereka tak hanya berencana menculik Buttercup, namun juga berencana membunuhnya di kawasan kerajaan Guilder, agar terjadi peperangan antara kerajaan Guilder dan Florin.

Di tengah perjalanan menggiring Buttercup menuju Guilder, mereka diikuti oleh seorang misterius berpakaian serba hitam. Satu demi satu, ketiga bandit penculik dipaksa berduel dengan si hitam misterius, yang ternyata mampu mengimbangi tiga bakat berbeda yang dimiliki Fizzini, Inigo, dan Fezzik. Di sini TPB mulai menunjukkan potensinya sebagai kisah yang “one of the kind”. Interaksi antara si tokoh hitam misterius dengan ketiga bandit, selain memancing tawa juga akan memancing simpati penonton terhadap tokoh Inigo dan Fezzik. TPB memang tak menghadirkan tokoh-tokohnya dalam satu dimensi karakter saja. Atribut “jahat” sebagaimana sering kita gunakan untuk melabeli suatu tokoh dalam sebuah cerita, digantikan dengan atribut lain yang lebih multi-dimensional, seperti pengecut, pongah, ataupun pendendam; bahkan sang karakter utama, Westley, bisa dibilang  adalah seorang yang kelewat keras kepala, mengarah ke sifat obsesif.

Narasi TPB memang terasa kompak dan pas diikuti, namun lompatan alur di beberapa bagian—dengan maksud memangkas plot agar lebih ringkas—sungguh amat disayangkan, karena jika mengacu pada bukunya banyak detail cerita yang menarik untuk disimak. Misalnya pernikahan antara Pangeran Humperdinck dan Buttercup dilatarbelakangi oleh berbagai peristiwa konyol yang sangat lucu, yang menunjukkan betapa Buttercup, sebagai heroine TPB memiliki karakter yang unik dalam menghadapi konflik moral antara kesetiaan dan keterdesakan untuk bertahan hidup.

All in all, TPB  adalah film drama-komedi fantasi, yang meskipun skalanya belum mencapai standar epik, namun magnitude pesan yang dibawa film ini setara dengan epik-fantasi macam Lord of the Rings ataupun Harry Potter. Dianggap underdog selama puluhan tahun, sukses TPB bisa dilihat dari ribuan geeky-fansnya di luar sana yang hingga kini masih setia mengutip sebagian dari dialog-dialog cerdasnya yang memang sangat quotable. Buktikan saja dengan mengucap "as you wish" di depan Bill Clinton dan anaknya Chelsea, dijamin mereka akan membalas anda dengan rentetan kutipan dialog lainnya dari TPB :D.

Sabtu, Juni 18, 2016

On the “Ghosting” Phenomenon

Those who are close to me already knew my deep penchant of suddenly disappear out of the face of the earth. Apparently in today’s digital world, where connectivity seems to be an all-time necessity, evaporating yourself out of the realm has become more and more of a phenomenon known as “ghosting”.  I exactly understand this kind of behavior, because I’ve done it a couple of times in the past. And if someone should asked me what makes me pull the ghosting act, I honestly couldn’t find a direct answer. Maybe because I am too much of a coward to admit my cowardice to face every troubles (I’ve been fleeing about); or maybe because I have a multi-layered psychological problems which I cannot pin-pointed what exactly they are; or maybe because  I actually realize all the reasons behind it, but just too ashamed to even speak it out.

And now I guess I’m getting a taste of my own medicine, by ghosted out by a guy I’ve been in ldr with for more than a year now. Experiencing being ghosted out from the perspective of a person who has been ghosting off herself is truly insightful. It made me a bit more self-aware, and in contrast to some of my female friends who’d been ghosted out by guys too, I can be calmer on approaching the problem. And in the spirit of being the object of this phenomenon, I reflected upon my flaws years ago.

Once, I had this huge crush over a girl (yes in my youth I fell for a female friend) which I kept by myself for years—resulting in a numbers of cheesy-silly poems. During my attraction to her, we kept being good friends even after she moved out of town following her husband’s workplace. But in the sixth year of our friendship, I pull out my ghosting act. No, not because I wanted to put a distance from her, or to be in a healthier mental state—because I cannot have her. It’s just something I do frequently: having my routine crumbled because of my moody tendency, and when I faced off with a dead end concerning an issue (could be work-related, family troubles, romance or friendship, hell even an internal conflict), I’ll shut myself out, and just ignore my social sphere for quite some times; and on this occasion, her included.

I remember, she  sent me an imported copy of one of Jostein Gaarder’s book (my favorite writer at the time), perhaps hoping to finally reached out to me and finding out why am I avoiding her. But… I kept ghosting her out. My, how I feel so so bad now, remembering it. It is not her fault that I was depressed at the time, but during this phase, I tend to just ignored everyone out, including her, someone whom I placed in a highest regard at that time. And this has done a permanent damage now. Even though still civil to each other, we’re not buddies anymore L.

I’m still doing this ghosting act even today. But lesser and lesser in scale and intensity over the year. A numbers of effort had been made, including consulted to a psychiatrist (which I skeptically distrusted) and  ended in a deduction that I might suffer from bipolar. I hated the medication, I hated the consultations, and I felt that they might made a false diagnosis. I tried to self-researched hoping to finally overcome this habit of mine. And to avoid denials and over-analysis, I tried to be blunt and completely honest with myself, it ended up in a very simple keywords: impulsiveness and chronic procrastination, coupled with a sense of self-worth and ego. Keywords I am now openly trying to have grasp upon and overcome with.

I believe in Occam’s razor adage: “among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.” I’ve opt for the simplest answer to my own trouble, for I believe I’ve sorted out all the far-fetched probabilities and assumptions.  Yet in the multitude elements involved in another person’s psycho-socio-cultural maps, there are countless numbers of problems that could be happened; and in the sea of multiple assumptions, one is best to not assume at all.

And so, instead of thinking of the myriad probabilities about why this guy ghosting out on me, I shan’t draw any conclusion at all. And in the spirit of being self-reflected and insightful, I need to realize that all the icky feeling of being ignored, disregarded etc. has somehow befell upon those whom I’ve been ghosting off too all those years behind J. Yep “you shouldn’t  judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in in his moccasins.” And the proverb should be applicable for the people I've disregard and also to this guy who've been ghosting me out.

Rabu, Juni 01, 2016


One single outing to a public event, and I can count more than enough  male's gazes went south to the tender area of my chest. Perhaps it was my tight t-shirt that came into their attention, or perhaps it was just my new-found observance upon this matter, because apparently all men's gaze will naturally shifted to that area of our body. Be it those superior to us or an office boy at work; be it those old geezers or a hormonal teenagers; be it a goody two shoes and pious gentleman or an openly witty perverts. Valar boobsulis, all men must adore breast.

It is said that human male are the only mammal who fixated on two bulges of fat drooping on their counterpart-gender’s chest. Why are they so mesmerized by female breasts? I suspected an evolutionary reasons are behind this. But what caused it, really?

From the view of evolutionary biology, it has something to do with male selection of a healthier mate to bear their progeny. Women store fat in their breast, and fat is an indication of a healthy mammal, so men's penchant for breasts is an implication of a mechanical pull for something fertile and healthy. But it's only logical to see the matter in this reasoning: if men want a higher probability to get a healthy offspring, why not procreate with as much as a female there is, because let's face it, mother nature had meticulously build our body to enjoy the procreation process, and sperm is relatively unlimited. So it would only logical for males to procreate with as much females--to make sure the extension of his offspring--without having to be picky of what would his mate be like.

Well let's see this from another perspective, this time from the neuro-biology point of view. Deep inside your ancient memories as an infant, your penchant for breasts has already been shaped as early as your first bonding with your mom's boobies. In order to make a strong bond and give a necessary nutrition for her baby, a hormone called oxytocin was released when baby first consume her mother's milk. Oxytocin is a substance responsible in social situations, such as in pair bonding, sex, and those situations incorporating warm feelings we frequently identifies as love. According to Wikipedia, oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security in the company of our mate.

It is said that first-primal experiences has a powerful implication physically and psychologically. So in the matter of maternal bonding between a mother and her baby, this memory must be rooted strongly in our psyche. I believe this has a lot to do with men fascination to women breasts. They are a reminder of the first happy-drug they consume in their first infant days; a memory of the strongest pair-bond ever: a bond between a mother  and her progeny. Women won't have the same magnitude of fascination, because those two bulges stuck on our chest ever since we reach puberty. 

Understanding this would give a different light to a stereo typical sneers about men's fondness to female breasts. Not that women should fling their boobs freely to relief male's perverted thirst, but at least we can understand that the biological reason behind the profanity is really not as profane as we generally thought. Quoting an article over the net: it (men penchant's for women breasts) is an unconscious evolutionary drive prompting men to activate powerful bonding circuits that help create a loving, nurturing bond. 

Kamis, Mei 19, 2016

Hedonism & Fatalism: a mere stupid assessment of my life and some of those around me.

Everybody suffered from their own demon I supposed. But to simplify, everyone’s biggest demon is actually just  “a lack of judgment”, and it applies to any circumstances. In my case it's the disproportional view between past,  present, and future, which manifests in a chronic procrastination. Which I recently suspected, stems from hedonism and fatalism.

The bounded definition of hedonism and fatalism, here, is a simplified one—and I supposed a personally-made one too. Hedonism, I defined as a pursue of immediate pleasure and an avoidance of pain or displeasure.  While fatalism, I abridged as a tenet of “what will be, will be”, that human are helpless at the whims of fate. Both are superficially antagonize each other, but when applied to the practical-everyday life, I find they tend to be complimentary to each other. Both  work as a cycle, one that sometimes traps a person in an addictive sense, and render it’s “victim” in it's powerlessness.

We all pursue happiness in life, and happiness often associated with pleasure.  We might even  define pleasure as a short-term happiness. This habit of seeking pleasure is what gave birth to a hedonistic lifestyle. But after a quick browsing through the Wikipedia and a few articles, it appears that hedonism has paradox on withholding it’s value; that pleasure and happiness are strange phenomena that do not obey normal principles. In that, they cannot be acquired directly, and we often fail to attain pleasures if we deliberately seek them.

I’ll make my own demon as an example: procrastination. When I procrastinate, I avoid pain and displeasure by not doing something unpleasant. But in a long term this will lead me to a bigger and more permanent displeasure: guilt, irresponsible image in front of my peers, and a pressure to get the job done in a relative short of time. So in short, while I busily seek pleasures, I also caused displeasure in the future. Erm, I just realize, I don’t know which came first; the hedonistic-lifestyle that cause my procrastinating-way; or the habit of procrastinate that build an attitude of hedonism. Hmmm.. both might be true.

On the other hand there is this fatalism; the appealing charm of Murphy’s law; the axiom of pre-determination; the one that put fate as the scapegoat instead our bad judgment. Fatalism is the stepping stone towards depression--and in some cases a blind-delusional optimism--, because it offers you nothing but a dead end. On the other hand, I think it is also fair to say that fatalism is a lazy way to draw conclusions. I mean, come on; blame it all to the fate and destiny?

From what I assessed, a habit to seek pleasure, in the end, often coupled with a fatalistic point of view in life. When you approach something in life hedonistically, it will definitely lead you to a chaotic outcome. And when the chaos is in front of you, the quick defend mechanism is to be fatalistic over it. I found this cycle almost everywhere; in many cases and a variety of manifestations. So, to a degree, hedonism and fatalism is what caused a crazy-twirling vortex of life.

What to do about it? Well, many find that a motivational books and spiritual guidance will help you back in track. But basically, one need to realize and analyze the working machine of hedonism and fatalism in order to overcome it. If simple-secondary motivational words or a rigid outline of religious script could help, then it's fine. But when the problem rooted deep inside you, and you are a kind who like to reverse-engineered things and be analytic about it, maybe an existentialist approach toward life will help. Because it offers you a basic notion of responsibility and how to get real. And It will give you a primary understanding of how every person is individually responsible for themselves, for their action, and for their decisions in life. And I'd like to argue, that these are the building block of human happiness as a homo-social. 

I have to admit that I learn this in a hard way at a late age of my life. I grew up in an environment that value vague concepts, such as being compassionate and generous instead of being responsible and honest. I’m not saying that to be compassion and generous is a bad thing, but if you vaguely trying to build life base on compassion and generosity, without putting responsibility and honesty before it, well I guessed it will pull you deeply in a vortex of unhappiness. I assumed it relate--relatively--with the lifestyle of hedonism and fatalism, because both are trying to avoid displeasure, and what is the basic displeasure if not responsibility and honesty. Hmm, I need to point out that I just realize, that a fa├žade of compassion and generosity couldn’t mask your irresponsabilities and bad judgments, no matter how hard you try to screamed it at the world.

It's painful to realize of who you really are, because often time we see our reflection not in glory and beauty, but in ugliness and humility. When the truth is laid bare in front of you, for the sake of permanent happiness, and for the sake of clarity of your life, isn't it better to embrace it fully and make it the first stepping stone toward a better self. 

--after an unpleasant argument with one of the closest and dearest person in my life--

Kamis, Mei 12, 2016


"Who's got a boil on his semprini, then?"

Semprini? What's a semprini? Apparently it's just one of thousands of beautifully designed gaga waga made by none other than the Monty Python's troops. Supposed to be a naughty word they won't uttered at the price of censorship, semprini actually means absolutely nothing. Well of course it was derived from the composer Alberto Semprini's name, but it relatively mean nothing. nada. zilch. zero... This, along with other python's baloney, has become a very lovable and quotable nonsense for us, devoted fans.

It's been about 9 years since I land myself in the absurd island of Monty Python. It began in some time around 2007, when I, out of boredom, bought a pirated dvd of Monty Python & the Holly Grail. What an enlightening experience! After watching Grail, every joke and other comedy entities stand far behind Monty Python. I don't know how to dumb down the reality behind their comedy, but theirs, I have to admit, has absolutely made a groundbreaking in the field of contemporary funniness, and has become a kind of clowning manifesto in our recent culture.

If we were to examine how humor works, it is known that one of the main theory of comedy is the Incongruity Theory. Wikipedia said:"The incongruity theory states that humor is perceived at the moment of realization of incongruity between a concept involved in a certain situation and the real objects thought to be in some relation to the concept." In this sense, we know that in perceiving an incongruent interaction between elements of a joke/humor/comedy; people try to find a kind of a resolution, or a realization of how the relation between the elements worked. In the case of Monty Python, the relation seldom existed. What's more, their humor often created more incongruities and absurdities.

According to Dr. Shockmd--followthislinkplease--the degree of this unresolved-ness is what makes Monty Python distinctively funny. Why I put "distinctively", because in the area of funniness, I find that many people doesn't really enjoy the zany humor of Python's. I used to feel uncomfortable when some people might see me as snobbish when I tell them I enjoyed Monty Python a lot. Because many feels that those who enjoy Monty Python tend to be a pompous little hipsters--and quite frankly, I don't want to be categorizes as hipster--but actually, that's really irrelevant. Dr. Shockmd stated, that there might be reason to why some people could enjoy Python very much and some are just not. He said: "This appreciation of nonsense jokes and cartoons is dependable on personality characteristics. Those with a high level of experience seeking appreciate nonsense humor more." ("nonsense humor refers to Python-like humor).

Okay okay, I might end up stating a snobbish fact after all, but please, contemplate the statement a little bit deeper, and you'll find that Dr. Shockmd's opinion is not snobbish at all. Many people must thought that Monty Python's joke belong to "intelligent"people, while, Dr. Shockmd's theory stated that people who liked Python tend to be more experience-seeking. So it's not a matter of "bigger brain loves Monty Python more", it's those who are experience-seeker, tend to enjoy Monty Python better. What's an experience-seeker, you asked? Dr. Shockmd, said: "Experience seeking involves a search for novel sensations, stimulation and experiences through the mind and senses, through art, travel, music, and the desire to live in an unconventional style." It's the unconventionality that makes unconventional people are so compatible with Monty Python sense of humor. 

But it is interesting to acknowledge that their unconventionality had been a milestone in the fields of today humor. Even though seemingly represent British humor only, Monty Python actually worked in much deeper level. Their works had proven that humor could break the border of culture and nationality, that laughter and witticism is a nature part of human being. And in the spirit of global culture, we, non-western people, may find their humor become more and more familiar. Should it be slapstick, dark humor, absurd gags, or simply just some Englishmen dressing up as old ladies (pepperpots as they called it), many of us couldn't help their rib-tickling charm.
So to all "experience-seeker"out there, try this old chaps gags once in a while. It will really worth your time.

Senin, Mei 02, 2016

after browsing through the technology and science news over the net

"The absence of any noticeable life may be an argument in favour of us being in a simulation.... Like when you're playing an adventure game, and you can see the stars in the background, but you can't ever get there. If it's not a simulation, then maybe we're in a lab and there's some advanced alien civilization that's just watching how we develop, out of curiosity, like mould in a petri dish.... If you look at our current technology level, something strange has to happen to civilizations, and I mean strange in a bad way. ... And it could be that there are a whole lot of dead, one-planet civilizations." -Elon Musk-

On answering our curiosity of whether are we alone in the universe or are we not, I guess at some point we might find our self in doubt: could we be in some short of a simulation in which we could never reach the existence so far away it become mere illusion. But learning from our recent history, human are capable to generate an impressive progression of civilization by proving out this so called illusion into reality, and made it reachable and testable. I supposed being in the optimistic spectrum will be more rewarding, but of course with a healthy portion of skepticism along the way. And after scanning through (fun-browsing) the internet, there are a lot of connective invention that might someday brings human to an unpredictable new level. 
Personally I feel ashamed and humbled that I am not part of those human beings who brings a lot to the progression of civilization, and to the amazing probability of our species' evolution. But to merely anticipate the probability really takes you into a new philosophical areas. It makes the personal troubles of our life seems so much more insignificant and trivial. And in a brighter perspective, it brings a sort of empowerment in thinking that we are worth more than we are today; that perhaps someday we will be liberated into a new developed being, far more advance than our current being. Meh or I supposed I am just a hopeful geek trying to navigate my confidence in a hustle and bustle of contemporary competition :D.

Minggu, Maret 20, 2016

being an existentialist-procrastinator

link to an awesome TEDtalk

I've been struggling heavily with this crippling bad habit. As evidenced by the fact that I'm writing this, instead of keep working on a task with a very tight deadline. Just this morning I got the email with that link to Tim Urban's TED talk, and well, can't help but intensely relate to it. Tim points out a very interesting statement, that all of us are basically procrastinators. At some degree, I agree. But there are some critical differences between us the very chronic procrastinators and those of normal spectrum of the human population. And he is right, the most significant is the presence of that abominable creature, namely the instant gratification monkey. We the chronic procrastinators gave up far too easily and too often to that damnable abstract primate. I guess it has something to do with the way we evolved. As simple animals, we used to fulfill our current needs, the necessity in the present, and doesn't take precaution to whatever would happen in the future or learn from whatever happened in the past. The urgently to do is the easiest, pleasurable thing we could do now, at this very moment. Just like a lion would hunt when hungry, sleep when sleepy, mate when the urge happens to come by; we the chronic procrastinators would procrastinate when the urge to delay come by. And the urge come by each and every time...

But you know, I've met a fellow chronic procrastinators in the past. And some of them are quite successful. I guess we need a thorough scrutiny to determine what went wrong. Even if I may succeeded to pinpoint that the main culprit for the failing of my life is procrastination, I gotta realize that a mishap always occurs not because of one single reason. One element that cause a series of unfortunate events, always had helps from other factors too. Erm, let's see, perhaps the specific architecture of my life (culturally,financially, psychologically), which resulted in a Me who's having a serious case of insecurities and self confidence, when coupled with a bad habit of crazy-procrastination, would resulted in a destructive-detrimental chaos which is my life :P

I've given up the idea of brilliance as an alpha part of myself. Because, one, who need a self aware-self proclaimed genius in the age of many "genius" such as today; and two, this illusion of having a good image of yourself is mostly delusional and will only get you lost in seeing the reality (the true and genuine one); and third, it only give me a temporal confidence, so it's practically useless; and fourth, it just won't take me anywhere.

I gotta say Gary Cox  is right. Being an existentialist is important nowadays. And being one is not a matter of encompassing yourself in the work of Sartre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, or any of their likes. It's about getting real, get a grip, and stop making excuses.

Eheh, I guess it's time for me to get some drawing done....

Jumat, Maret 18, 2016


Just got off the phone with a long time friend. I guess you couldn't take things for granted after being in a friendship for 15 years :p. We chat a lot about the meaning of being successful and of boys (childish men) and other stuff I couldn't recall now. I called her after finding out that I was treated quite unfairly by a guy I dated a few weeks a go. It's funny how things could escalated from a friendly banter between a patient and a doctor to a case of emasculating someone's self esteem. Erm, emasculating one's self esteem seems too much as a statement actually, but the thing is, it's really depressing to find how people could change facades just to get what they want. Here how the story goes...I met this doctor a few months a go. He is cute enough and I feel like: what the hell if you somehow have hots for me, let's just try and do this. After only a few harmless session of flirty texting and one date, he asked me to spend the night with him. I don't get queasy hearing this, but what the hell... can you at least had the courtesy to woo me a bit longer, or just tell me your true intention from the beginning. And then he completely stopped texting me after I declined, which is okay, since I really don't value this thing as something worth thinking of or spend energy for... Then I just founds out this morning, he got married to a very conservative looking woman, in a conservative marriage, along with their conservative-looking family, and exhibits photos full of religious captions.
what. the. hell...
I could be a bit hypocrite, mind you, but the scale of this hypocrisy is really something... but yeah, it's not a life changing experience whatsoever, just something worth giggling over. 

Senin, Maret 14, 2016


You are the brightest sky I have ever encountered
The lapis lazuli of my life…
Rare and luxurious,
Sacred yet flirtatious…

I would gluttonously drink your very being,
but the fright of having over-consumed,
had always been sturdily terrorizing…
I’d sip you bit by bit..
but the dread of having you hazing away,
had always been unsettlingly settled…

While I was with another,
you are the vestiges that always manage to be present,
blocking my view to be impressed by others..

It is troubling,
That in the rarity of our crossroads,
you still creeping around my existence..
giving me doubts to depart and move ahead…

You just simply enthralled me,
harder than I thought I was…

Sabtu, Maret 12, 2016

Curatorial Text for Carine Leroy-Braham's solo exhibition

I (we) wrote it a few months a go and thought it wasn't going to be published, but the gallery apparently feel the need to get it out in the public anyway. So when they contacted me in the late February for the latest edited version of the essay, naturally I "yayed" :).
The initial exhibition was held somewhere around September, last year.

Embodied: Sublimitas Eros dan Tanathos Carine Leroy-Braham

             “Women and the Universal! Very interesting; one kind of giggles because women have always been confined to the realm of the Personal.” (Tring T. Minh-Ha)

Persoalan antara yang alami dan yang buatan (nature versus culture/nurture) merupakan oposisi biner yang terus diperdebatkan sepanjang peradaban manusia. Apakah hal terpokok dan hakiki bagi manusia adalah segala yang terbentuk apa adanya secara alami? Atau sebaliknya menjadi kultural dan membentuk formulasi hidup yang teratur dan beradab merupakan hakikat terdasar menjadi manusia? Sebagai animal rationabile (binatang yang menggunakan rasio), manusia mampu melampaui properti animalistiknya dan memberdayakan dirinya menjadi spesies paling canggih di muka bumi. Namun seorang manusia tetap memiliki atribusi hewani, yang memiliki  mekanisme tersendiri tanpa bisa dikendalikan sepenuhnya oleh rationale. Atribusi ini muncul dalam bentuk hasrat; suatu dorongan yang integral dalam diri setiap manusia, yang akan selalu ada dan mempengaruhi setiap pilihan hidup seseorang sejak ia lahir hingga tiba saat kematiannya.

Hasrat manusia termanifestasikan dalam ragam rupa; hasrat untuk berkuasa, hasrat untuk menjadi kaya raya, hasrat untuk mempengaruhi orang lain; dst. Kesemua bentuk hasrat ini berpangkal dari hasrat yang paling sederhana, yakni untuk merasakan kenikmatan (pleasure) dan menjauhi rasa sakit (pain) atau ketidaknyamanan (displeasure). Sigmund Freud—sebagai figur pionir yang berhasil mengupas  konsepsi hasrat ini ke tataran signifikan—lebih jauh lagi meyakini bahwa hasrat-hasrat manusia ini secara mendasar berpangkal dari dorongan seksual yang inheren berada pada diri setiap manusia. Suatu properti hewani yang cara kerjanya berjalan secara otonom, lepas dari kesadaran manusia sebagai mahluk rasional.

Menurut Freud, sepanjang sejarah peradabannya; hasrat, insting, atau dorongan seksual ini direpresi (ditekan) oleh manusia karena dianggap sebagai agen kekacauan (chaos).  Lebih jauh lagi Freud bertukas sejarah hidup manusia adalah sejarah dari represi mereka sendiri[i]. Peradaban dapat terlaksana karena upaya manusia untuk menekan kesemua bentuk dorongan dan hasrat yang akan saling bentur antar kepentingan tiap individu jika dibiarkan terpenuhi. Dalam essaynya yang cukup menantang “Beyond the Pleasure Principle”, Freud menjelaskan bahwa dalam rangka preservasi diri, manusia mengembangkan semacam pertahanan diri  yang disebut dengan reality principle untuk menekan hasrat (desire) agar tak menempatkan si manusia dalam kondisi terancam keberadaannya. Pada akhirnya keduanya bekerja dalam mekanisme saling lingkar; dengan reality principle berusaha menunda pemenuhan hasrat sehingga menjadi instrumen perepresi gerak kehidupan manusia, dan di sisi lain hasrat yang bergerak menuntut pemenuhan (gratifikasi) secara menerus. Suatu pergulatan abadi antara keteraturan (cosmos) dan keliaran (chaos).

Sepanjang sejarah peradaban manusia, berbagai bentuk orde  dan rambu-rambu dibentuk untuk membangun tatanan peradaban yang teratur. Agama, mitos, sains, dan hukum menjadi instrumen yang memastikan agar setiap individu dalam masyarakat bertingkah laku sesuai dengan orde dan aturan. Obsesi manusia terhadap keteraturan mengantar manusia ke dalam keberpihakan tak proporsional terhadap aspek Logos dibandingkan Eros[1]. Logos—yang dalam hal ini diartikan secara sederhana sebagai rasio, logika, akal, daya tahan dan determinasi—dianggap sebagai properti dasar dalam proyek peradaban umat manusia. Eros—yang merupakan simbolisasi kebebasan, kreativitas, vitalitas dan juga fatalitas—sebagai kontraposisi dari Logos, sering dianggap sebagai natur manusia yang liar, sulit dikontrol, feminin dan asing; yang karenanya perlu ditekan tumbuh geraknya. Ambil contoh tokoh mitologi Yunani Orpheus, Narcissus, dan Dyonisius yang merupakan figur-figur pemboyong konsep Eros,mereka tak pernah dianggap sebagai simbol kebudayaan yang kanonikal dan cenderung dibuat antipatik.  Sebaliknya Prometheus, Hercules dan Odisseus yang menyimbolkan akal (tipu daya), pengorbanan dan rasa sakit yang abadi justru menjadi tokoh heroik yang dipuja.

Pertanyaan mengenai hasrat sebagai bagian tak terpisahkan dari manusia, agaknya juga menarik perhatian seorang Carine Leroy-Braham.  Melalui pameran “Embodied” seniman asal Perancis ini mengejawantahkan dua dorongan dasar manusia yang saling beroposisi dalam konfigurasi yang justru harmonis dan saling komplementer. Dengan mengoperasikan simbol phalus dan tengkorak, Carine menyajikan konsepsi Eros dan Thanatos dalam rangkaian karya yang meskipun berkesan paradoks namun tetap terintegrasi secara harmonis. Imaji-imaji tengkorak yang sarat dengan aura kematian dan keberakhiran, berpadu dengan berbagai ornamen-ornamen berwarna penuh vitalitas. Monolith phalus yang menjulang penuh keangkuhan berpadu dengan tengkorak-tengkorak putih yang feminin dan anggun melingkar mengelilingi simbol maskulinitas tersebut.

Konsep Eros dan Tanathos sendiri yang dikembangkan oleh Freud ini agaknya disadari Carine sebagai potensi simbolik—yang selain dapat tergali  di tataran gagasan—juga dapat termanifestasikan secara artistik dalam bentuk karya dari pelbagai medium dan material. Bisa ditengok dari bagaimana Carine menggunakan teratai sebagai simbol phalus. Sebagaimana telah dipahami secara umum, phalus merupakan perangkat biologis utama yang berperan aktif dalam suatu relasi kultural yang kita kenal sebagai romance atau eros. Eros sendiri dalam pemahaman Freudian, diartikan sebagai insting untuk bertahan hidup (survival); yang kerap termanifestasikan dalam bentuk  hasrat untuk mencari kebahagian, kesenangan, cinta dan seksualitas.  Di lain pihak Thanatos yang merupakan insting/hasrat pada kematian dan kondisi statis, kerap ditunjukkan oleh sikap putus asa dan penghancuran diri (self destruction)—yang konon termanifestasikan pula dalam bentuk agresi, perusakan,dan hasrat berkuasa; disajikan carine melalui simbol  tengkorak.  

Berbeda dengan logika oposisi antara Eros dan logos versi Carl Gustav Jung, baik Eros maupun tanathos dari sudut pandang Freudian dianggap sebagai properti dasar manusia yang sepanjang sejarah peradaban manusia perlu direpresi karena dianggap sebagai agen chaos. Namun melalui “Embodied”, Carine tampak gamblang menyerukan suara yang berbeda. Tengok saja karya-karya lukis Carine yang menyiratkan ekspresivitas dan vitalitas—seolah mengolok pola-pola opresi kebudayaan kita selama  ini terhadap konsep seksualitas dan kematian. Di lain pihak karya tridimensional dan instalasi milik Carine juga cukup kentara menyuarakan opininya yang sarat dengan aura perayaan terhadap seksualitas dan kematian.

Sikap yang diambil Carine dapat dikatakan selaras dengan apa yang diyakini Herbert Marcuse. Pemikir asal Jerman ini mengutarakan kritiknya terhadap konsep Eros dan Tanathos Freudian, dengan menyatakan bahwa kedua dorongan manusiawi ini justru memiliki potensi untuk menyeimbangkan tatanan masyarakat industrial yang jenuh dalam pola mekanistis kapitalisme.  Marcuse meyakini bahwa Eros dapat disublimasi dari hasrat seksualitas yang senantiasa menuntut gratifikasi ala hewani, menjadi suatu hasrat yang dibarengi rasionalitas. Jika sebelumnya rasio menjadi instrumen pembangun peradaban yang mekanis dan robotik, dan bahkan bertugas sebagai opressor Eros, maka melalui keterbukaan dan pemahaman lebih jauh terhadap seksualitas itu sendiri, maka manusia akan mampu berpindah pada tataran rasionalitas yang lebih sublim terhadap seksualitas mereka, sehingga Eros tak perlu lagi direpresi.
“Under non-repressive conditions,sexuality tends to ‘grow into’ Eros—that is to say, toward self-sublimation in lasting and expanding relations (including work relations) which serve to intensify and enlarge instinctual gratification. Eros strive for ‘eternalizing’ itself in permanent order.”[ii]
“Eros redefines reason on his own terms. Reasonable is what sustains the order of gratification.”[iii]

Menyimak karya-karya Carine maka tersirat opini serupa akan proyek sublimasi Eros ala Marcuse. Salah satu karya Carine dalam pameran “Embodied” ini adalah karya monolith tiga dimensi berbentuk phalus yang sengaja ia hadirkan dalam warna perak. Akan menjadi jebakan yang sangat mudah menggiring asumsi pemirsa pameran, saat melihat karya ini sebagai penanda kritikal Carine terhadap supremasi maskulinitas terhadap femininitas. Namun nyatanya Carine justru justru menempatkan karya ini sebagai objek hasrat (desire) bagi dirinya sendiri secara personal. Sapuan perak yang menutupi keseluruhan tubuh karya, dibarengi dengan pemosisian karya di atas pedestal batu semakin menempatkan phalus sebagai objek yang sangat berharga di mata Carine. Phalus di sini kemudian tersublimasi sebagai implementasi penelusuran estetis seorang Carine Leroy-Braham, alih-alih dimaknai semata instrumen biologis yang harus direpresi mekanisme gratifikasinya.

Menyelami lebih dalam konsep gratifikasi  Eros. Menurut Herbert Marcuse, prinsip gratifikasi berkait erat dangan “prinsip hasrat” (pleasure principle). Saat properti-properti Eros (hasrat seksualitas) harus dipenuhi, maka rintangan terbesarnya adalah keberadaan waktu dan logika keberakhiran. Karena timelesness merupakan pleasure yang paling ideal[iv], maka keberadaan kematian menjadi rintangan bagi gratifikasi Eros. Meskipun melalui reality principal, Eros terbelenggu mekanismenya secara kultural, namun secara tak terhindarkan ia tak bisa berkelit dari prinsip kematian/keberakhiran. Oleh karena itu eksistensi Tanathos (: dorongan menuju kematian dan keberakhiran) justru menyumbangkan rasio tersendiri bagi proses sublimasi Eros,yakni kesadaran bahwa segala sesuatu memiliki akhir. Dengan demikian saat manusia menyadari bahwa Eros adalah konsep yang impermanen, dan keberterimaan terhadap aspek Tanathos sebagai bagian dari kehidupan, Manusia justru terbebaskan dari belenggu represi, karena ia dapat menghadapi dorongan Eros dalam kerangka yang penuh kesadaran akan impermanensi.

Keberkaitan antara Eros dan Tanathos ini tampaknya disadari pula oleh Carine. Karenanya citra-citra Tanathos milik Carine yang terwakili oleh simbol tengkorak, tak lantas tampil polos  apa adanya sebagai tengkorak semata. Tengkorak yang hadir baik di atas kanvas maupun yang tampil dalam bentuk karya tiga dimensi milik Carine senantiasa dihiasi (adorned) dengan pernik-pernik seperti bunga teratai ataupun headdress yang penuh warna. Seri karya Adorned Vanities misalnya yang menampilkan lukisan-lukisan tengkorak dengan dihiasi berbagai bentuk headdress tradisional Indonesia dan mahkota bunga teratai, seolah menunjukkan apresiasi Carine terhadap konsep impermanensi. Jika kita selami lebih dalam, kematian dan perpisahan memang justru merupakan konsep yang semestinya mendorong kita untuk lebih menghargai keterbatasan hidup. Kematian pada karya Carine bukanlah duka yang disesali kedatangannya, namun justru bagian kehidupan yang dirayakan. Sebuah parting gift akan singkatnya dan berharganya setiap bentuk kehidupan.

Sublimasi terhadap Thanatos sesungguhnya sering kita temui dalam keseharian, seperti misalnya pada requiem (musik kematian), ritual pemakaman  ataupun puisi-puisi bertemakan kematian dan perpisahan. Tanathos versi Carine hadir dalam kontras antara simbol tengkorak yang ia hadirkan secara puitis dan feminin. Karya instalasi Carine yang menampilkan tiga boks kaca berisi tengkorak besar berwarna emas misalnya. Karya yang menghadirkan logika sekuens ini, dengan gamblang berkisah mengenai bagaimana kematian mengabsorpsi kehidupan: dari berada menjadi tiada. Boks pertama menunjukkan satu tengkorak berhiaskan bunga lotus di atas kepalanya tampak terduduk tegak di atas permukaan emas. Permukaan emas yang bagai lumpur hisap ini perlahan menenggelamkan tengkorak, seperti yang bisa disimak pada kotak kaca kedua, saat keutuhan tengkorak dimakan oleh ketertenggelaman dirinya dalam “lumpur” emas di bawahnya. Di kotak ketiga kita melihat bunga teratai yang semula hinggap di atas tengkorak mengambang di atas permukaan lumpur emas. Agaknya Carine menyampaikan suatu pesan bahwa kematian justru memberikan kesempatan untuk kelahiran baru.

Kehadiran Eros dan Tanathos yang sangat kontras hadir terutama dalam karya Carine yang paling masif di pameran ini. Karya instalasi yang menampilkan objek phalus berwarna hitam di tengah lingkaran puluhan tengkorak putih berhiaskan bunga teratai ini dikomposisikan di ruang galeri utama dengan dilatarbelakangi tirai merah marun. Karya ini seolah merupakan titik ultimasi Carine dalam mengejawantahkan konsepsi Eros dan Tanathos dalam pameran ini. Phalus yang diletakkan tepat di tengah komposisi karya menjadi representasi hasrat yang diidamkan. Sedangkan tengkorak-tengkorak yang melingkarinya seolah menjadi pengingat bahwa dorongan kematian akan senantiasa hadir memutus rantai hasrat yang berangkaian sepanjang hidup manusia.

“Embodied”  sebagai judul pameran yang Carine pilih, bisa diartikan sebagai pengejawantahan (: embodiment) atau personifikasi konsepsi Eros dan Tanathos melalui karya-karyanya. Seni sendiri sebagai embodiment kebudayaan manusia menurut Marcuse bukanlah domain logos dan rasionalitas, dan justru merupakan salah satu pengajawantahan hasrat Eros (sensuousness) dalam tataran yang lebih tinggi:
“The basic experience in this dimension is sensuous rather than conceptual; the aesthetic perception is essentially intuition, not notion… it is by virtue of its intrinsic relation to sensuousness that the aesthetic function assumes its central position. The aesthetic perception is accompanied by pleasure.”[v]   

“Embodied” dengan demikian dapat dimaknai juga sebagai pengejawantahan hasrat-hasrat seorang Carine saat ia mahsyuk dalam penjelajahan artistik dan estetiknya dalam berkarya. Sapuan pigmen yang ekspresif dan penuh daya hidup dalam lukisan-lukisan Carine adalah salah satu bukti betapa ia mengutamakan sensuousness kala berkarya. Penggunaan throwel berukuran besar alih-alih kuas, menunjukkan bahwa Carine meletakkan aspek emosi dan ekspresi sebagai bagian penting dalam berkarya. Carine juga tampaknya menggunakan throwel ini sebagai penanda maskulinitas, karena sapuan cat yang dihasilkan pun tampak tegas dan jauh dari keraguan. Selain itu, sebagai aktivitas yang telah lama Carine geluti, melukis agaknya menjadi sebuah upaya “pelepasan” atau eksternalisasi  dari dalam hatinya.Karenanya Carine tak terlampau acuh dengan sejarah dan wacana mengenai seni lukis sebagai sebuah diskursus. Bisa jadi ia lebih mengutamakan fungsi katarsis melukis daripada bersusah payah menjelajahi historisitas dan ontologi si seni lukis itu sendiri.

Selain tak terlampau acuh dengan persoalan historisitas medium, Carine juga tak terlampau tertarik dengan pewacanaan karya seni yang biasanya menyoroti isu-isu besar. Hal ini bisa dilihat dari sikap  tak acuh Carine terhadap isu feminisme. Padahal akan sangat mudah mengkorelasikan strategi berkarya Carine dengan persoalan gender. Alih-alih berperan sebagai kontingen kebudayaan yang kritis terhadap kondisi bias antara maskulinitas dan femininitas, Carine justru tak terlampau ambil peduli dan lebih memfokuskan diri terhadap penelusuran estetis dirinya dalam menanggapi konsepsi Eros dan Tanathos. Namun demikian, melalui pengoperasian simbol phalus, Carine—disadari atau tidak—sedikit banyak berhasil mengukuhkan otonomi perempuan sebagai subjek aktif saat menghadapi suatu objek hasrat (desirable object). Phalus di tangan Carine menjadi oposan bagi logika penis envy Freudian, karena ia hadir justru sebagai objek yang memicu impuls Eros dalam diri Carine sebagai subjek yang menghendaki—alih-alih objek yang cemburu terhadap subjektivitas lelaki seperti yang seringkali dicetuskan dalam psikoanalisa Freudian. Karena itu imaji-imaji phalus yang hadir dalam karya-karya Carine pun tampak sublim dan dipenuhi aura feminin, karena seperti demikianlah Carine memaknai objek hasratnya tersebut. Karena itu meskipun Carine secara sadar tak menjadikan karyanya sebagai teks yang berpihak pada isu feminisme, namun secara otomatis karya-karyanya menjadi cukup penting bagi wacana feminisme. Karena Carine hadir sebagai model ideal sebagai perempuan yang berkuasa penuh terhadap subjektivitas dirinya sendiri.

Di luar kesemua isu yang mungkin lekat secara langsung dan tak langsung, karya-karya Carine  menghadirkan angin segar dalam aktivitas seni rupa Indonesia belakangan. Ada semacam semangat romantisme gaya baru sekaligus optimisme dalam memandang kehidupan secara generik. Padahal jika kita tengok lagi simbol-simbol yang Carine usung lebih sering kita kenal sebagai ikon pesimisme dan nihilisme. Ini, ditambah lagi dengan kenyataan bahwa Carine berkesenian dalam tataran personal, justru menyadarkan  kita bahwa kehidupan yang sublim dan membebaskan, dapat terbentuk melalui sikap bersahabat dan kompromis terhadap berbagai substansi kehidupan; baik yang dianggap positif maupun negatif.

Asmudjo Jono Irianto
Dinni Tresnadewi Nurfallah

[1] Kontraposisi antara Logos dan Eros di sini terutama didasarkan secara longgar pada teori Carl Jung dalam “Aspect of the Feminine”.

[i] Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophicaal Inquiry into Freud (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966), 11.
[ii] Marcuse, 222.
[iii] Marcuse, 224.
[iv] Marcuse, 231.
[v] Marcuse, 176.

Minggu, Februari 14, 2016

Oh It's What You Do to Me....

Intensity was never bound to define us,
yet here I am thinking...
about the gap stretching between here and the day of thousand light years away;
of late night chats, of shared philosophy, of the distance which seemingly never been able to cut that crazy fixture--that is "us"
It never was a beautiful, severe, agonizing liaison; unlike our unshared past
...but we are an unlikely creatures indeed, accidentally allied by conjoint grief & disappointment...

I'm not about to deny:
the fading away passion and diminishing force fused us together on those pensive days;
the dwindling enthusiasm and deteriorating intimacy on those private nights;
the shrinking number of fervent dialogues about something, nothing, and everything...
it was all inevitable...

I'd like to claim that we were mature creatures,
that we were already hold on to our own sorrowful wisdom beforehand,
that we won't let ourselves lost in illusion and fixation...
yet here I am, listening to both rendering of "Love Buzz"
wondering if you have the same longing too,
to catch up to whatever we left hanging,
at some point in our bygone days...

really miss you, hunbun...