Melati Suryodarmo will stand on a plinth for two hours, holding a long spear towards her abdomen at an angle of 45°.
Alé Lino is a performance work which articulates a need to be able to touch the layers of emptiness. This is a layer of the mind, which she considers a bridge between a human being and its God, spiritual guides, nature, the supra natural power. The transformation from being a gendered human being into a genderless identity informs the concept behind this work. The spear used in this performance is pointing, centred, at the upper part of her body. The triangle between her body, the spear and the ground is the space of her life secrets, becoming a map which contains her undiscovered patterns of behaviour.
Melati Suryodarmo started developing Alé Lino by researching the Bissu, a group of shamen who live in South Sulawesi, Indonesia and who are held in high regard by the local Bugis people. They are mostly transsexual and homosexual, though Suryodarmo is less concerned with gender diversity as a focus and more interested in the spiritual principle, which includes the transsexual state. The Bissu regard their transsexuality as a way of losing human identity as defined by gender differentiation. The highest level of spirituality the Bissu seek to attain is seen as flowing from a life free from all the sexual determination.
Exergie - butter dance
There are moments
Which I never expect to be happened
Which are exploded when I loose my view
Which remain empty when I want to fulfill
Accident is just one moment
Silence is just one moment
Happiness is just one moment
This is just one moment
Of being caught by the moment
Melati dances on the butter
"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."
Melati Suryodarmo's performances are concerned with cultural, social and political aspects of life through which she articulates through her psychological and physical body. Her performances combine a highly arresting physicality with sharp confidence and sensuality. Suryodarmo combines her own spiritual experiences with a comparative study of spirituality in Javanese tradition, Islam, Buddhism and Christianity. She believes that spirituality in the world of visual arts is necessary to experience the surrounding environment, particularly during a time when we are beset by political and economic disasters.
Melati Suryodarmo was born in Surakarta Indonesia and lives and works in Braunschweig, Germany. She graduated in International Relations and Political Sciences in Bandung, Indonesia before moving to Germany in 1994 to study at the Hochschule fuer Bildende Kuenste Braunschweig with Marina Abramovic. She completed her Meisterschule in 2002 in Performance Art. Melati Suryodarmo has participated in various international performance festivals and exhibitions in Europe including the 4th International Performance Festival Odense, Denmark; Brrr, Porto, Portugal; VV2 at the 50th tVenice Biennale; Marking The Territory, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland.