Melati Suryodarmo’s performances dealt with the relationship between the body, the culture in which it belongs to, and a constellation of spaces where it has lived at. She is fascinated by the resilience of the human body – how it is able to adapt and push its own boundaries for newer ways of being human.
Born in 1969, Surakarta, Indonesia; Melati studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany, under the guidance of Anzu Furukawa and Marina Abramović. In her most iconic work, Exergie – Butter Dance (2000), the artist danced and repeatedly fell on slabs of melting butter, expressing her feelings of alienation when she migrated to Germany. Through her presence, Melati extracts and translates the worldly phenomena into bodily movement, exploring the fluidity between body and the reality of its environments.
She has presented her works in various international festivals and exhibitions, including Singapore Biennale, Singapore (2016), Asia Pacific Triennale, QAGOMA, Brisbane, Australia (2015), Luminato Festival of the Arts, Toronto, Canada (2012), and Manifesta7, Bolzano, Italy (2008). Aside from her practice, she was also the Artistic Director of the Jakarta Biennale 2017, one of the core visual arts biennale in South East Asia. In 2012, she founded Studio Plesungan, an experimental space focused on performance art.