ShanghART Gallery 香格纳画廊
Home | Exhibitions | Artists | Research | Shop | Space

MELATI SURYODARMO 麦拉蒂·苏若道默
b. 1969, works and lives in Surakarta, Indonesia

MELATI SURYODARMO 麦拉蒂·苏若道默
2019
Multi-channel video
4-channel video
Digital Video
5 minutes
Edition of 5 + 2AP
MS_1534

Through memories of ritual dances she witnessed in her childhood, Melati Suryodarmo returned to a specific performance tradition that demonstrates physical strength called Reog. A series of memories of trapped bodies—whipping, dancing accompanied by monotonous music, eating the broken glass of incandescent lights, dancing on horse braids, and carrying a giant lion-figure mask named Singa Barong Dadong Sirap—were always embedded in her mind.
In Dancing Under the Black Sky (2019), Suryodarmo traces the history behind Reog performances informed by Kejawen, a Javanese spiritual tradition that consists of an amalgam of animistic, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sufi beliefs and practices. Reog is said to be a satirical art of resistance and criticism of the Ponorogo people of East Java towards Bhre Kertabhumi, a Majapahit King who slowly lost his authority in the 15th century. Bhre Kertabhumi was the last king of Majapahit before Islam became a major force in Demak and controlled the coastal region of Java. Reog encompasses various kinds of political satire and elements of violence that are presented through a performance in which bodily attractions and beauty, and their relation to the spirit of traditional culture, unfold as various subtle layers of a political body.
Reog Ponorogo dancers traditionally perform in a trance-like state. The dancers are expected to follow strict rules, rituals, and exercises, both physical and spiritual. In Reog, a Warok dancer leads the show, where he presents his pride, the Gemblak, a young feminine man, who dances on a kuda kepang, a horse made of bamboo. The boy lover, called Gemblak, is usually kept by the Warok in their household under the agreement and compensation to the boy’s family. Many Warok and Gemblak were massacred by Islamic groups during the anti-communist massacre of 1965-66, their heads placed on pikes for public display. Today, the Warok-Gemblak practice is discouraged by local religious authorities and is being shunned through public moral opposition.

Detail pictures:

Related Exhibitions:
Arus Balik - From below the wind to above the wind and back again NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore 03.22, 2019 -06.23, 2019



上海香格纳文化艺术品有限公司
办公地址:上海市徐汇区西岸龙腾大道2555号10号楼

© Copyright ShanghART Gallery 1996-2019
备案:沪ICP备09094545号

沪公网安备 31010402001234号