Museum MACAN proudly presents 'Why Let the Chicken Run?'—Melati Suryodarmo’s first solo presentation in a museum context.
28 February – 31 May 2020
Melati Suryodarmo (b. Surakarta, Indonesia, 1969) is one of Indonesia’s internationally acclaimed artists. ‘Why Let the Chicken Run?’ marks the artist’s first solo presentation within a museum and presents significant works from over 20 years of art practice including scheduled live performances, photography and video performances, and historical documentation.
‘Why Let the Chicken Run?’ traces Melati’s artistic practice through the presentation of her incredible long-durational performance pieces that range from three to twelve hours. Through these long-durational works such as I'm A Ghost in My Own House (2012) (a twelve hour performance) and The Black Ball (2005) (which is performed for between eight to ten hours, over a four day cycle), the artist challenges her body physically and psychologically in pursuit of a deeper spiritual understanding of the self. Her artistic practice is influenced by Butoh – a form of radical dance theatre that emerged in postwar Japan; deep and ongoing relationships with other artists; a formal art education in Europe as well as investigations into Javanese cultural traditions. These rich and varied influences are explored in the exhibition through the inclusion of a selection from her personal archive.
Melati has exhibited and performed extensively around the world, and lives between Indonesia and Germany. Fundamental to Melati’s artistic output, is a desire to cultivate a practice which responds to her immediate Javanese environment, whilst engaging a global conversation about the power and nature of art.
About the Artist
Melati Suryodarmo, born in 1969, is a performance artist based in Surakarta, Indonesia. She graduated from the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany with a Meisterschüler qualification in Performance Art in 2003.
Her physically-challenging and long-durational performance art pieces are the result of ongoing research in the movements of the body and its relationship to the self and the world. Melati Suryodarmo has presented her work in various international festivals and exhibitions.
In 2017, she was appointed as the Artistic Director of ‘JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017’ and led its curatorial team to present the biennale. Since 2007, she has been organizing ‘Undisclosed Territory’, an annual performance art event in her hometown Surakarta, Indonesia.
To access Melati Suryodarmo's full performance schedule during the exhibition period, click here.