Melati Suryodarmo, Exergie-butter dance, 2000
Melati Suryodarmo
Exergie-butter dance

Performances focusing on identity and human relations and often referring to political issues and ecological questions are a central part of Melati Suryodarmo oeuvre. The artist says, “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.” Suryodarmo was born in 1969 in Surakarta, Indonesia. She studied international relations and political science in Bandung, Indonesia, before transferring to the Braunschweig University of Art, where she studied butoh and choreography with Anzu Furukawa, time based media with Mara Mattuschka and performance and spatial concepts with Marina Abramović. Her first museum solo show "Why Let The Chicken Run?" was at Museum MACAN, Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2020.

artist's website:

In her performance Exergie-butter Dance Melati Suryodarmo wears a black dress and red shoes while dancing on pieces of butter that keep making her slip and fall. Her repertoire of movements consists of slipping and sliding, crashing down and picking herself up again.

Courtesy Melati Suryodarmo

Document media
Video, colour, sound, 6:27 min

Issue date

beauty, failure, pain