VN: Please give us a tour of your solo exhibitions.
MS: I did the I Love You. It was interesting, when some members of the audience came to me, tried to help me to lift the glass. House Without Maid Project, for the International Theater Festival, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2010. This was different situation, as normally I performed this piece in a kind of old house, mostly from the 17th or 18th century. But in Rotterdam, I did it in a Bauhaus building, a famous Dutch architecture built in the 30s. The house “Sonneveld” belongs to the architecture museum. So there were furnitures, and a piano, carpet and interesting designed lamps. Actually this kind of house was quite challenging, it was not really a house that needed a maid. It gave me different energy though. Asian Body festival, Moderna Dans Teatern, Stockholm, Sweden, 2010. This was a very interesting experience, to invite 10 dancers, to do my Exergie Butter Dance together with me. Dancers tend to challenge their skills. We did not rehearse, except to place their spots on the theatre stage. When they did it together, it became like a competition, who could stood the piece longest. Indonesian Contemporary Art Showcase, Art Paris Grand Palais, Paris, France, 2010. I only sent my video and photo documentation of the Exergie Butter Dance. Padepokan Lemah Putih, Solo, Indonesia, 2010. It was a program which I run since the last five years. It is called Performance Art Laboratory Project (PALA Project). Asiatopia 11, Bangkok Center for Art and Culture, Bangkok, Thailand, 2009; Marina Abramovic Presents..., Whitworth Gallery, ManchesterInternational Art Festival, Manchester, UK, 2009. Performance Art Laboratory Project, Bali, Indonesia, 2009. This is a project I have been organizing and curating since the last four years, for the Padepokan Lemah Putih, a non-profit arts institution in Solo, Indonesia. We invite international visual arts-based performance artist and performing artist. It was a full week program at the north coast of Bali. Perception of Patterns in Timeless Influence, Lilith Performance Studio, Malmö, Sweden, 2007. A commissioned work with a residency program of Lilith Performance Studio. A solo show of two days, each five hours durational work, involving an opera singer and a violin player. Erotic Body, Venice Biennale Dance Festival, Venice, Italy, 2007. A group show, curated by Ismail Ivo and Marina Abramovic. I presented “height of limerence”, inviting a collaborator from Israel to perform with me, six hours, three days. KIASMA, Helsinki, Finland, 2007. A group show with other Asian artists from Thailand, Indonesia, and China. I presented a live performance “kleidungsaffe”, a three hours performance, and an installation of it to be exhibited, as well as some main previous performance works documentations and film works to be screen during the exhibition. Andthe 15th International Electronic Art Festival – Video Brasil, Sao Paolo, Brasil, 2005. – I performed Exergie Butter Dance at the SESCP Sao Paolo during the festival. In the International Incheon Women Artists Biennale, Incheon, South Korea, 2009. For this biennale, I was invited to present my work I love you, live performance, the documentation and a photo series of “the Seed” performance.And Manifesta 7, European Biennial, ExAlumix, Bolzano, Italy, 2008. Besides having myAle Lino live performance, a photo documentation of it was also presented during the exhibition.
MJ: The Fitting Room, Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung and National Art Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2009; This was a large solo exhibition with more then over 100 works from drawings till installations, with 23 models wearing the costumes at the openings. It features my 25 years of living in Indonesia.
VN: Is there a need for you to belong to an art group or foundation? Why?
MS: I do not belong to a group, although I work for a non-profit arts institution -- Padepokan Lemah Putih -- as art and culture program director. I think to open a networking and communicate in a healthy way to each other is mostly helpful, especially in performance art development.
MJ: Because of the poor infrastructure for the arts, artists themselves fulfill an important role in art development by creating groups, institutions, and organize events. So I always divide my time between doing my own work as an artist and organize art events. I founded the Cemeti Art House in 1984 and the Indonesian Visual Art Archive in 1995.I am still working for these two institutions. I just became a board member of the newly found Yogya Biennale Foundation.
VN: How would you locate or situate yourself in the Indonesian art geography?
MS: As nobody but hard worker.
MJ: As one who stimulates the different scenes and areas, through my personal work as well the what I am doing with Cemeti Art House and in other organisations.
VN: Is being a female an advantage or a disadvantage? Why?
MS: I think every human being has the same chance if they know what to do out of what they can do. It is not about gender mostly, but about what you can really do.
VN: What is the best comment or criticism you got? From whom?
MS: When my daughter once came to see my performance, and she screamed: “Mamaaa, I get bored!”
MJ: I get always many comments on my work, nowadays, a lot from people that I don’t know, through facebook. The best... ? I don’t know and forgot, the important thing is that there is communication. I got once a comment “you make popular work”, for sure this was not meant as a compliment... I still remember.
VN: How do you respond to such feedback?
MS: The hardest critics are mostly from closer friends or family, those who know me closer. There is a big trust between us, and I have learned a lot from them.
MJ: Some criticism I consider as meaningful and it helps me sharpen my ideas and concepts.
VN: How would you describe your evolution or revolution as an artist?
MS: Nothing is really new these days. It is someone else’s eyes who can observe my evolution or revolution in different contexts. I am doing my work as life flows.
MJ: I am not revolutionary and just part of the development, but with hard work and discipline my work has developed through the years.
VN: Do you believe that as an artist you are an agent of change? Why?
MS: That sounds very bombastic if so!
MJ: Yes I believe so, although it will be a small contribution. In Indonesia the educational system is quite bad, and I always see the importance of art as an alternative to the structures and rules in society and make people aware of other ways of thinking.
VN: What is your major contribution to the world of art?
MS: My works and perhaps spirit for its growth, I guess.
MJ: Probably that one together with Nindityo Adipurnomo by founding Cemeti Art House we stimulated the artists to make great exhibitions and we connected them to the international art world.
VN: What satisfaction do you get from giving workshops or lectures?
MS: I learn also while giving workshop... to get clear and to focus on methods.
MJ: I like to communicate about art and I like to share my experiences and learn from others. It is good to know that I can inspire others.
VN: Any awards or rewards?
MJ: The first award I got the 3rd Rockefeller Award together with my partner for what we achieved with Cemeti Art House, the Cemeti Art Foundation and our own work. In the last years we received two local awards for our contribution to the Indonesian art development.
VN: What is your dream project?
MS: Every project I decide to do is my dream project.
MJ: I do not really have, because I always try to do and I am lucky to be able to do the things that I want. But one thing is to have more time for residencies.
On May 8, 2005, some 7,000 dogs participated in what was billed as the world's largest simultaenous canine gathering in separate locations in the Philippines. The main venue, the Baywalk along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, drew 3,000 dogs that walked for five kilometers. Another 4,000 dogs reportedly participated in simultaneous marathons across the Philippines. The event sought to surpass the record set in the United Kingdom where some 5,017 dogs participated in a 4.8-kilometer dog “marathon” in 2004.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.