From the window of Studio Plesungan, Melati Suryodarmo’s studio. Photo: Studio Plesungan Archive
Dreaming With: Melati Suryodarmo
Our Dreaming With Q&A series provides an exclusive glimpse into the artists’ lives and studios.
Where have you spent your time during the pandemic?
I have spent my time mostly in my studio and my home.
Night at Studio Plesungan, Melati Suryodarmo’s studio. Photo: Studio Plesungan Archive
What books, music, movies, or podcasts have inspired you recently?
Now I’m reading Calling Back the Spirit: Music, Dance, and Cultural Politics in Lowland South Sulawesi written by R. Anderson Sutton (Oxford University Press, 2002).
I have been working on a choreography piece with the first part of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. It is still a work in progress.
I watched Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) again.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on a collaborative performance piece with composers from Hanoi and Berlin. Due to the pandemic, we changed our project into an online residency. We have been meeting virtually once or twice a week since October 2020. I am also preparing a new solo performance work, which I want to perform in my studio’s outdoor space and will maybe livestream in July.
I am also continuing research into traditional rituals from Java.
And, for sure, other preparations for some exhibitions this year.
What artist or work of art has most recently had an impact on you?
I think Joan Jonas comes back into my research, also Dimitris Papaioannou and Bela Tarr.
Inside Studio Plesungan, Melati Suryodarmo’s studio. Photo: Studio Plesungan Archive
What are you most looking forward to in 2021?
I am looking forward to people all around the world recovering from COVID-19 and the economy improving soon. I am looking forward to meeting people, [including] my friends, traveling, and doing live performances again.
What do you want viewers to take away from experiencing your work in the Triennial?
I wish [for] people [to be able to] remember their own dreams.
Are there any fun facts about your practice or your work in the Triennial that you would like to share with readers?
The most fun and blessed part of it is that I have worked with wonderful collaborators both in the performance, with Antonius Oki and Jessika Kenney, and at Asia Society, with team members Rachel Cooper, Sarah McCaffery, and Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe.