Melati Suryodarmo: Why Let the Chicken Run?

28 February 2020 - 31 May 2020

Museum MACAN (Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara)
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Melati Suryodarmo: Why Let the Chicken Run?

Museum MACAN proudly presents 'Why Let the Chicken Run?'—Melati Suryodarmo’s first solo presentation in a museum context.

Melati Suryodarmo (b. Surakarta, Indonesia, 1969) is one of Indonesia’s internationally acclaimed artists. ‘Why Let the Chicken Run?’ marks the artist’s first solo presentation within a museum and presents significant works from over 20 years of art practice including scheduled live performances, photography and video performances, and historical documentation.

‘Why Let the Chicken Run?’ traces Melati’s artistic practice through the presentation of her incredible long-durational performance pieces that range from three to twelve hours. Through these long-durational works such as I'm A Ghost in My Own House (2012) (a twelve hour performance) and The Black Ball (2005) (which is performed for between eight to ten hours, over a four day cycle), the artist challenges her body physically and psychologically in pursuit of a deeper spiritual understanding of the self. Her artistic practice is influenced by Butoh – a form of radical dance theatre that emerged in postwar Japan; deep and ongoing relationships with other artists; a formal art education in Europe as well as investigations into Javanese cultural traditions. These rich and varied influences are explored in the exhibition through the inclusion of a selection from her personal archive.

Melati has exhibited and performed extensively around the world, and lives between Indonesia and Germany. Fundamental to Melati’s artistic output, is a desire to cultivate a practice which responds to her immediate Javanese environment, whilst engaging a global conversation about the power and nature of art.

Melati's performance will be available to visitors of Museum MACAN starting from 28 February to 31 May 2020.


Due to ongoing health concerns, Museum MACAN is temporarily closed and this event has been postponed.

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