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Melati Suryodarmo: Passionate Pilgrim
Solo Exhibition Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, U.K.
Date: 05.17, 2023 - 09.03, 2023

Artists: Melati SURYODARMO 麦拉蒂·苏若道默

In summer 2023, Ikon transforms its galleries into a platform for performance art, with the first UK exhibition by acclaimed Indonesian performance artist Melati Suryodarmo.  

Melati Suryodarmo is one of Indonesia’s most important living artists, known for her strenuous durational performances that last several hours, testing the limits of the human mind and body. Through live performances from the artist and “delegated works” performed by over 50 associated artists and community activists, the exhibition celebrates her dedication to pushing the boundaries of her own practice and building performance art networks.

Mentored by renowned Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa and performance artist Marina Abramović in the early 1990s, Suryodarmo has, for four decades, created durational performances, installations and films that merge live art with sculpture, drawing and time-based media. Visually spectacular, Suryodarmo’s performances are feats of endurance that interrogate notions of time, labour and identity.  

Live performances:

Sweet Dreams Sweet (2013) takes place at Ikon Gallery on Wednesday 17 May and at Handsworth Park in July. In this work, pairs of performers signify tensions between individual and collective identity for women in Indonesia and around the world.

Suryodarmo’s longest work, I’m a Ghost in My Own House (2012), sees her grind blocks of charcoal with a stone rolling pin continuously for 12 hours. Suryodarmo performs this work at Ikon Gallery on Friday 19 May (10am-10pm).

From Thursday 25 May and for the duration of the exhibition, on Thursday and Saturday afternoons, solo performers re-enact Suryodarmo’s Kleidungsaffe performance (2006).

Ikon debuts the first hybrid performance of Passionate Pilgrim (2010) on Sunday 28 May (2pm), which the artist performs with UK-based network and activist group Voice of Domestic Workers.

Present to Presence, a performance art laboratory including Indonesian and UK-based artists, runs Thursday 1 – Sunday 4 June.

This exhibition is supported by the Bagri Foundation, the British Council through the Connections Through Culture grants programme, Birmingham City University and the Melati Suryodarmo Exhibition Circle: A.I. Gallery; ShanghART, Tanya Michele Amador and Michiel Verhoeven; Michelangelo and Lourdes Samson.

It is developed in collaboration with Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN), Jakarta, Indonesia.

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More Pictures:
Installation view (Photo: Stuart Whipps)
Photograph|colour inkjet print|
Video|single-channel video|
Video|single-channel video|
Performances (Photo: Ted Jones)


Melati Suryodarmo: Passionate Pilgrim on show at Ikon Gallery | ShanghART WeChat
Melati Suryodarmo heads to the Midlands with Passionate Pilgrim at Ikon Gallery | Plural Art Mag
Passionate Pilgrim: Melati Suryodarmo's performance art retrospective at Ikon Gallery | gowithYamo
Art Exhibition: Passionate Pilgrim by Melati Suryodarmo | Redbrick

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Works Exhibited :

Ikon Gallery ,


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