BRINGING a bow and arrows, the woman who was also dressed in an all-white costume paced the room, aiming at all four sides of the wall. On the wall itself, dozens of pierced arrows were scattered.
In the same room, the audience watches from a distance. Slowly move away from the direction of the archer’s goal while occasionally looking down to avoid arrows stuck in the wall.
It was quite a stressful experience that the audience got to feel thanks to the performance of senior artist Melati Suryodarmo. Entitled Transaction of Hollow, the work which was presented for the first time in 2016, was presented on Saturday (6/11) at the Macan Museum, west of Jakarta.
The show, which lasted about three hours, was part of Melati’s solo show, Why Let The Chicken Run ?, which only lasted a few weeks before the pandemic struck. Due to the entrance of covid-19, the Macan Museum, which hosts the solo exhibition, has an open-close policy due to social restrictions.
Transaction of Hollows is a show inspired by the Javanese philosophy of archery. Melati wants to convey an idea about the individual process in life which is also always “overseen” by social movements in the community.
The audience sensory experience was designed to focus on every step and movement of Melati’s body. Even though it’s like a social intervention, the audience doesn’t mean either jumawa or more powerful. Anxiety looms and having to remain vigilant away from the shooting area or in today’s language, the viewer becomes horribly delicious.
In total, the 52-year-old artist who has performed in various countries shot 800 arrows at the show.
“The Tiger Museum wants to present a kind of desire for practical experience with a work of art. With experiences that may have gotten lost among us when we had to stay home. This is what we want to present again. Hands-on experience with whatever we consider important, ”Macan Museum deputy curator Asri Winata said on Saturday (6/11).
The day before, Melati presented the performance of Alé Lino (2003) which recounts the emptiness and the effort to enter the transitional space between body and mind, the material and the immaterial, the mundane and the cosmic, and the feminine and the masculine.
This performance satisfies not only Melati’s desire for performance, but also the community’s need for an irreplaceable live performing arts experience. (M-1)