The chaotic social phenomena occurred recently have inspired the artist Ketut Putrayasa to produce a work entitled “Sisyphus Game.” This owner of Rich Stone expresses his anxiety through creative and constructive works of art. His “Sisyphus Game” is a way of criticizing the phenomenon of boring contemporary routines. The work “Sisyphus Game” was exhibited at the National Gallery of Indonesia for a month some time ago, namely from July 26 to August 26, 2022 in a celebration entitled Indonesian Contemporary Art Exhibition: Manifesto VIII.
Visitors to the exhibition admired the installation work made of virkan steel, stainless, and brass measuring 215 x 230 x 40 cm and weighing more than one ton. “Sisyphus Game is one of the 108 works of Indonesian artists exhibited at that time. The one hundred and eight works exhibited in the prestigious gallery are none other than a title for the creations of Indonesian artists, selected from 613 potential participants through invitations,” said Ketut Putrayasa at Rich Stone Kerobokan, on Thursday (Oct 27).
Manifesto VIII entitled Transposition where in the introduction to the exhibition catalog the artists are expected to have visionary sensitivity and be able to contribute positively to people’s life as well as encourage the progress of the times. Considered to have an intuitive and smart view to read the phenomena that occur, the artists are certainly expected to be able to respond with their works. So, Putrayasa presented the work entitled Sisyphus Game, which is critically constructive.
Putrayasa stated that Sisyphus Game was inspired by Ancient Greek mythology, where later on, Albert Camus, a French philosopher, narrated it into a philosophical essay about human struggle with absurdity, namely absurd reasoning, absurd man, absurd creation and absurd hope. The title of the book is The Myth of Sisyphus. In Greek mythology, Sisyphus tricked the god of death, and was then cursed to push a boulder up a hill. Once he reached the top, the rock rolled back down, and Sisyphus had to push it back. So, it happened again and again. It is a pointless and absurd struggle.
This was confirmed by the cultural observer and famous Balinese writer, Wayan Westa, because of this absurdity, Camus rejected all forms of religion, futurism or ideologies that promised good in the future. According to Camus, the speaking is a sensory experience, a concrete present. Therefore, it is difficult for Camus to talk about his goals or plans for the future. He considered the world is irrational because it cannot explain the existence of misfortune, disaster or the purpose of human life.
Sisyphus Virkan steel satire game of Ketut Putrayasa is not carrying a philosophical message and a challenge to morality. He cited more on a cultural satire, on the current circumstances that hit nations and islands—where disasters, misfortunes and multidimensional crises are always faced with absurd routines. They are almost like a cursed Sisyphus pushing a rock to the top of a hill, falling and then pushing it again from below.
History and experience have never been able to awaken people to find out new breakthroughs. Religion and science are not enough to be made to move in the face of disasters faced by humans. Putrayasa, through his work, would like to voice that this phenomenon is a form of routine prison. He realized the routine is the most dangerous enemy of a creator. Routine is also a big enemy for public policy holders who do not find a way out when a crisis hits the people. (BTN/015)