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Recollections. Experiences. Communities.
Project Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany
Date: 04.25, 2018

Artists: Melati SURYODARMO 麦拉蒂·苏若道默 | 

In a region so ethnically, culturally and religiously diversified as Southeast Asia, museums are currently confronted with a number of questions and challenges. National museums, most of which are working with traditional concepts, are searching for more modern narratives. The contemporary art scene is characterized by a growing number of art fairs, biennials, museum start-ups by collectors, and the initiatives of independent curators. In the framework of the project Transitioning Museums in Southeast Asia initiated by Goethe-Institut, various experts from the museum landscape in Southeast Asia and Germany have met for roundtable discussions in Phnom Penh, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Discussions have so far focused on how museums handle photographic documents and archives, the cooperation of educational institutions, the work of artists, working with a diversity of communities as well as expectations of the public.

Curators, museum directors and artists from Southeast Asia and Germany are invited to Berlin to share their experience, views and different perspectives concerning exhibition practices in transition.

Friedrich von Bose, Puawai Cairns, Maria Joselina Cruz, Clémentine Deliss, Gridthiya Gaweewong, Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Annissa Gultom, Vireak Kuong, Chor Lin Lee, Kusra Mukdawijitra, Barbara Plankensteiner, Grace Samboh, Russell Storer, Enin Supriyanto, June Yap

16:00 – 18:00 Performance
Melati Suryodarmo, Sweet Dreams Sweet (2013)
2 h, 28 performers, inside and outside the museum

“Sweet Dreams Sweet” is a two-hour durational performance with twenty eight young female performers wearing white uniform clothing. They move in pairs, walk, lie down and sit around the performance area. They dip their feet into blue water and stain their white stockings. The performance invites the audience to confront the dichotomy between uniformity and plurality in relation to Suryodarmo’s interest in the individual and the people. Social pressure often forces people into a state of homogeneity. People want to wear the same kind of clothing and to do the same kind of things as the people around them. They are uncomfortable when they are too different from their community, triggering a fear or herd response. When a majority community dominates an originally diverse society, it alienates those who are different, forcing away the social, cultural, linguistic or political factors that had allowed for plurality. This phenomenon is against individualism, as the people of a uniform society are not autonomous.  

This conference is a cooperation between the Goethe Institut and the Nationalgalerie — Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and takes place on the occasion of the exhibition "Hello World. Revising a collection“ at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.

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Works Exhibited :

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin ,


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