Melati Suryodarmo (1969, Solo, Indonesia) lives and works in Indonesia. Her performances deal with the relationship between the human body, the culture to which it belongs and the environment in which it lives. She translates cultural, social and political issues into durational performances founded on her physical and psychological presence. She uses time to build up tension and, by the repetition of one or more actions, she creates a nonverbal language of basic emotions.
Melati Suryodarmo obtained a degree in International Relations from the University of Bandung (UNPAD) in Indonesia before going to Germany to study dance under the Butoh dancer Anzu Furukawa and performance art under Marina Abramovic. She graduated as a Master of Fine Art from the University of Braunschweig. Suryodarmo has since given performances all over the world, notably at the Venice Biennale International Festival of Contemporary Dance (2007), the eBent festival (Barcelona, 2007), AccionMAD! (Madrid, 2006), and the Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival (São Paolo, 2005). Since 2007, she has organised the annual Performance Art Laboratory Project for the Padepokan Lemah Putih interdisciplinary arts institution at Solo in Indonesia. Melati Suryodarmo is in addition also the Artistic Director of the Jakarta Biennale 2017.
[Performance] Amnesia (2016) - 03.12.2017 – 11 am until 4 pm
Our lifespan is limited. We live out our years, but we cannot avoid our bodies bearing the historical baggage of our origins, country and families. Those who deliberately want to break loose from their attachments to the past experience great difficulty in their quest for meaning and identity. Willfully or violently keeping events from the past hidden can lead to us losing our foothold and prevent us from finding ourselves. When history is being written down, there are always so many facts, events and human relationships that remain untouched or are left behind. But our fragmented memories will repeatedly try to fit these forgotten fragments back together again.
In Amnesia, Melati Suryodarmo, as a person and as a body, enters the room of the past. She sews, counts and marks hidden facts, the feelings of erased and forgotten bodies which, in spite of everything, still exist. In this five-hour performance, she creates a space full of mystery where, in the most personal manner, we can relate to the history of our own people and, as the forgetful bodies that we are, re-assemble the substance of our scattered memories and feelings.
*based on a text by the artist*