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 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.
All events are free, donations welcome:
From Thursday 25 May and for the duration of the exhibition, on selected Thursday and Saturday afternoons, solo performers re-enact Suryodarmo’s Kleidungsaffe performance (2006).
Sweet Dreams Sweet (2013) took place at Ikon Gallery on Wednesday 17 May and Thursday 27 July. In this work, pairs of performers signified 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) took place on Friday 19 May. In this work Suryodarmo grinded blocks of charcoal with a stone rolling pin continuously for 12 hours.
Ikon debuted the first hybrid performance of Passionate Pilgrim (2010) on Sunday 28 May. For this work, the artist performed with UK-based network and activist group Voice of Domestic Workers.
Present to Presence, a performance art laboratory including Indonesian and UK-based artists took place from Wednesday 31 May – Sunday 4 June.
Vivid Projects + Ikon, a performance art laboratory including UK-based artists took place from Thursday 10 August – Sunday 13 August.
This exhibition is supported by Bagri Foundation, British Council through the Connections Through Culture grants programme, Birmingham City University, University of Leeds, and the Melati Suryodarmo Exhibition Circle: A.I. Gallery; ShanghART, Tanya Michele Amador and Michiel Verhoeven; and Michelangelo and Lourdes Samson.
It is developed in collaboration with Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN), Jakarta, Indonesia.
1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HS
1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace
Birmingham, B1 2HS
Ikon is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and Birmingham City Council.
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