Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Can't Believe its Not Butter!

Melati Suryodarmo.
You may remember her from her infamous Youtube video:

It is quite difficult not to laugh the first time watching it, but after the giggles and tears one may start to think what is she doing? and WHY?

Exergie, the butter dance, was created as a way to express what Melati was going through at the time:
"When I created butter dance, I was in a situation where I realized that my life has been up and down, fell down and I got up again. These has to do with the nothing with very specific, but every time when those moments of shifting happens, it becomes a very special moment. It is the time where decision and our resistance are required. The work was created after a long process of understanding different kind of experiences and then induced them into the point where emotional contents put into one."
In her dance, we can see those special moments in her face. The fall is always unexpected, but she always gets up no matter how difficult.

The butter is also an important aspect of her dance. It is something she has struggled with culturally and physically.

"I love butter, and I hate it at the same time. It also represents my relocation from my culture, something that I love and does not come from my nature of nutrition (we donʼt consume butter in Indonesia) at the same time it has changed my body since I get used to it in Europe."

Since her dance focus was on struggles in life, butter seemed to be the perfect medium.

The Exergie, though awkward and painful, is actually an apt translation of what we all go through. Humans handle every new difficulty in life somewhat clumsily. Though we choose to hide these aspects of our lives, Melati embraces it and shares her vulnerable moments with the world.

The dance was first presented in 2000 and another performance was uploaded by a viewer in 2010.  The video went viral in 2012. Though she has been misunderstood from a number of public viewers, she remains optimistic and finds it "...interesting to see how people in general react to an art work."

Who knew one performer and a dollop of butter could deliver a message with such raw honesty. 


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