IF WE WERE XYZ

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Two of photos of artist Melati Suryodarmo are placed side by side. The artist is dressed in all white and the photo captures her in movement.

Indonesian artist Melati Suryodarmo premieres a durational performance work IF WE WERE XYZ at Asia Society. In this new work, she explores dreams—both in the sense of the subconscious experiences we have while sleeping and the conscious aspirations we have when awake. Drawing upon Javanese mysticism, traditional beliefs, the artist’s own dreams documented in a self-devised sleep laboratory, and other sources, Suryodarmo’s intensive research process leads to a visceral and immediate three-hour performance.

Entry with museum admission and permitted at any point during the three-hour performance. Space limited.

Commissioned and produced by Asia Society as part of Creative Common Ground, an initiative that expands contemporary performance practice by commissioning, producing, and presenting interdisciplinary performance works.


Melati Suryodarmo (b. 1969, Solo, Indonesia) is a performance artist based in Java, Indonesia. She studied under Butoh dancer Anzu Furukawa and performance artist Marina Abramović in Germany, where Suryodarmo earned a degree in fine art and an MFA in performance art at the Braunschweig University of Art. Suryodarmo is known for her highly physical, time-based performances in which she investigates identity, energy, politics and relationships between the body and its environments. She has performed in international festivals and exhibitions since 1996, including at the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra, 2019), Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum for Contemporary Arts (Berlin, 2018), Singapore Biennale (Singapore, 2016), Guangzhou Triennale (Guangzhou, 2015), Venice Biennale Dance Festival (Venice, 2007), eBent festival (Barcelona, 2007), AccionMAD! (Madrid, 2006), and Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival (São Paolo, Brazil, 2005). Suryodarmo was awarded “Best Artist” by Art Stage Jakarta in 2017. In addition to her performance art practice, Surydarmo is a curator and cultural organizer. Since 2007, she has organized the annual Performance Art Laboratory Project for the interdisciplinary arts institution Padepokan Lemah Putih in Solo, Indonesia. In 2012, she founded “Studio Plesungan” an art space which functions as a performance art laboratory. In 2017, she was the Artistic Director of the Jakarta Biennale, one of the core visual arts biennale in Southeast Asia.

Event Details

Thu 17 Oct 2019
3 - 6 p.m.

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

Add to Calendar 20191017T190000 20191017T220000 UTC Asia Society: IF WE WERE XYZ Asia Society 725 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021