Melati Suryodarmo at Ikon Gallery

17 May – 03 September 2023


Project description

The Bagri Foundation is delighted to support the first UK exhibition by acclaimed Indonesian artist Melati Suryodarmo at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.

Melati Suryodarmo is one of Indonesia’s most important living artists. Mentored by renowned Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa and performance artist Marina Abramović, Suryodarmo’s physically demanding performances can last several hours, testing the limits of the human mind and body. Her longest work, I’m a Ghost in My Own House (2012), involves the artist grinding blocks of charcoal with a rolling pin continuously for 12 hours. Visually spectacular, Suryodarmo’s performances are feats of endurance that interrogate notions of time, labour and identity.   

The exhibition at Ikon features visual art pieces as well as live performances by Suryodarmo and “delegated works” performed by artists and communities in Birmingham.  

About Ikon Gallery

Founded in 1965 as an artist-led alternative space, it has evolved into one of the most internationalist artistic programmes in Europe combining established with emerging artists. In 1964, the artists’ group that founded Ikon published a prospectus that was as clear as it was idealistic. Their aesthetic proposition was neatly summarised: “Ikon is intended as an antithesis to exclusive art establishments and galleries … [it] has been formed because of the need for an accessible place where the exchange of visual ideas can become a familiar reality.”

Featured image credits: Melati Suryodarmo, Sweet Dreams Sweet Performed at Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art Berlin 2018. Photo by Reinhard Lutz