Jakarta Whiplash ’93 (Re-Revisited)

4HR Incident

This work started as a research project with Lara Thoms on the 1993 Metallica concert at Lebuk Bulus stadium in Jakarta that resulted in a large-scale riot, and the banning of heavy metal concerts in Java for 10 years and became a legendary moment in cultural history. This project suggests a trajectory from the 1993 riot to the 1998 student reformation protests which saw the fall of dictator Suharto, right up to the more recent election of Indonesian President Joko Widodo in 2014, a proud metalhead who famously attended many Metallica concerts.

Based on the research, we have designed merchandise that both commemorates the ’93 riot and could be utilised in a new uprising. A Metallica cover-band was invited to perform the Jakarta gig set-list with related social-politic commentary announced in between the songs. This suggesting that despite the commodification of metal music, politics can and should intersect with the culture.

This project is commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne.