ShanghART Singapore is pleased to present a solo exhibition “TIMORIBUS” by renowned performance artist Melati Suryodarmo. It is an inaugural comprehensive exhibition in Singapore, will showcase Melati’s multidisciplinary approach to art, consisting of a variety of works ranging from photography, videography, to what she is best known for – durational performance. The exhibition opens on Thursday, 25 January 2018 and runs through 25 March 2018, with an accompanying live performance by the artist on 25 and 26 January 2018.
“Timoribus” is a Latin term meaning "fear." In Melati's works, body functions as a container of memories and emotions, while the feeling of fear she expressed is often deeply intertwined with human instinct, desire and individual deliberation. Fear stems from the defense mechanisms of the body, as well as the sense of disillusionment with the pursuit of ultimate perfection and immortality. Through her highly physical and often humorously absurd performances, Melati probes to the relationship between the feeling of fear and everyday life, personal experience, political discourse and the mass media.
The title piece “Timoribus”, is a video installation art work directed by the artist inspired by the recent state of affairs. By tracing back to the history of performance art and experimental video, this work examines the politicized characteristics of artists in Europe during the 1960s and 1970s. To date the world is surrounded by terror and fear of terror at varying scales, from rodent infestation to fatal bombings, which has been given the global context of fear. Even if fear is non-existent, people have found ways to invent its presence in everyday life by the need for security, posterity and preservation, and been pushing to develop technology and innovation all the time. As images production and reproduction gets clearer and faster, the irony is that the speed of how those images are absorbed by the brain confuses it, creating a blur in the mind. The world is clear but the mind is convoluted; all the while fear continues to play a growing part in this post-truth world, shaping our experiences and reality.
Also on exhibition alongside “Timoribus” will feature videos of her previous performances art pieces, reproducing the complex emotions and body motions of the artists who contingently performed in a specific space and time duration. Melati's performance often conveys great diffuse energy and tension through the transmission of the intense emotions such as the fear of death ("Ugo") , and the anxiety of the unknown ("Sweet Dreams Sweet"), by this way she makes multidimensional communication with the space or the stage, and the audience who physically and psychologically involved between the borders and boundaries.
Compared with the videos, Melati’s photography seems to be a silent termination of her performance actions and processes. When all emotions are frozen on the surface of the photos, it forms an atmosphere within and without the images. Her recent photography "Tomorrow, As Purposed" series, presents the spirit of intense confrontation and personal anxiety with the dynamic and gestures of body, and "Window" series extends the relationship between "physical body"/"cultural body" to the "outer"/"inner", the main “Self” finalizes an distinction out of the fear and resistance to “the Constitutive Other”.
The live performance, titled “Transaction of Hollows”, is a long durational performance piece that investigates mankind’s mixture feeling of desire and fear on love and war. Melati evokes desolation and anxiety at the state of politics and society as she negotiates the nuances of such emotions through these circumstances by repetitively shooting hundreds of arrows without a specific target. The audience is invited to be present in the same space, connecting with the artist and the intense and wild atmosphere in their own unique way. Transaction of Hollows was performed first time at Lilith Performance Studio, Malmo in 2016.