Melati Suryodarmo

b. 1969, Indonesia
Lives and works in Indonesia

The world that inspires me to move my thoughts is the world inside me. The body becomes like a home which functions as a container of memories, a living organism. The system inside the psychological body that changes all the time has enriched my idea to develop new structures of attitude and thoughts. I try to perceive my surroundings as the fact of the real presence of now, but considering the path of its history. I try to understand the language that is not spoken, and opens the door of perceptions. I respect the freedom in our minds to perceive things coming through our individual sensory register system.

Crossing the boundaries of cultural and political encounters has been a challenge that stimulates me discovering new identification. An effort to find identity is yet a dangerous act of losing the ground of origin. For me, the process of making artwork is a lifelong research that never stops me to put myself inside the metamorphic constellation. I intend to touch the fluid border between the body and its environment through my art works. I aim to create a concentrated level of intensity without the use of narrative structures. Talking about politics, society or psychology makes no sense to me if the nerves are not able to digest the information. I love it when a performance reaches a level of factual absurdity.

Melati Suryodarmo’s performances have been dealing with the relationship between a human body, a culture in which it belongs to and a constellation where it lives. Through the presence, she compiles, extracts, conceptualizes and translates some phenomenon or subjects into movement, actions, and gestures that are specified to her performance. Melati’s performances concern themselves with cultural, social and political aspects, in which she articulates through her psychological and physical body. Her performances feature elements of physical presence and visual art to talk about identity, energy, politics and relationships between the body and its environments.

Melati studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweigin in Germany under Marina Abramovic. She has presented her works in various international festivals and exhibitions since 1996. In 2012, she founded “Studio Plesungan”, an art space for performance art laboratories. She was also the Artistic Director of Jakarta Biennale 2017, one of the region’s core visual arts biennale.