Melati Suryodarmo: I Love You / Performance at Fondation Beyeler / Interview

This is an interview with the artist Melati Suryodarmo, who presented her performance I Love You at Fondation Beyeler in Riehen (Basel, Switzerland), as part of the one day exhibition The Artist is an Explorer, curated by Marina Abramovic.

Melati Suryodarmo: I Love You. Performance at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen (Basel, Switzerland). Interview with Melati Suryodarmo, September 20, 2014.

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Exhibition text:

“The world that inspires me to move my thoughts is the world inside me. The body becomes like a home which functions as container of memories, living organism. The system inside the psychological body that changes all the time has enriched my idea to develop new structures of attitude and thoughts. I try to perceive my surroundings as the fact of the real presence of now, but considering the path of its history. I try to understand the language that is not spoken, and opens the door of perceptions.” “We are used to saying ‘I love you’ to express our feeling of love to somebody else. In this performance I am intending to deal with, in a deeper sense, the meaning of the language, the paradox of its expression, the fragility of the language and its cultural gesture. I also want to try to touch the subconscious level of understanding about the collective psyche, a society in which I identify myself as part of it. Relationship between human beings is probably about a replacement process between egos, or about exchanges within the collective identification, an identification process derived by the socio-cultural historical background, including the use of a language.”
“‘I Love You’ is a performance piece that interrogates the melting of the form of a language. The spoken language that represents the background of a human culture, the way of thinking and identity, is a formed structure that we use to communicate with others. ‘I Love You’ is provoking the meaning of a language and the bias of its use.”
“I Love You” was created in 2007 and is a durational performance in which the artist moves around, carrying the weight of a large sheet of a glass whilst simultaneously struggling to come to terms with the phrase “I love you,” spoken throughout.
Duration of the performance: 6 hours

Melati Suryodarmo ́s (1969, Indonesia) performances are concerned with cultural, social and political aspects, which she articulates through her psychological and physical body. She thereby compiles, extracts, conceptualizes and translates phenomena or subjects into movement, actions, and gestures that are specific to her performance. Her performances feature elements of physical presence and visual art as a means of talking about identity, energy, politics and relationships between the body and its surroundings.
Melati Suryodarmo has presented her works in various international festivals and exhibitions, including the 50th Venice Biennale (2003); Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, (2005); Videobrasil, São Paolo (2005); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2005); 52nd Venice Biennale Dance Festival (2007), KIASMA, Helsinki (2007), Manifesta7, Italy (2008); InTransit Festival, Berlin (2009); Luminato, Toronto (2012); and Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2014). She has been organizing the “Undisclosed Territory” performance art event in Solo, Indonesia since 2007.

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