Performance Artist – Arahmaiani


Indonesian Artist- Performance Art, Installation Art, Painting, Feminist Art

Indonesian performance artist Arahmaiani is one of Indonesia’s most seminal and respected contemporary artists. Arahmaiani has long been internationally recognized for her powerful and provocative commentaries on social, political, and cultural issues. Born in 1961 in Bandung, Indonesia, she established herself in the 1980s as a pioneer in the field of performance art in Southeast Asia, although her practice also incorporates a wide variety of media. A major survey of her work was presented at Museum Macan in Jakarta, Indonesia, from November 17 – March 10, 2019. Entitled The Past Has Not Passed (Masa Lalu Belumlah Berlalu), it featured over 70 works from the 1980s until today, including paintings, installations and re-enactments of iconic performances presented alongside some of her most recent projects. (tyler rollins fine art)

Indonesian performance artist Arahmaiani’s work deals with such complex topics as discrimination, intolerance, and violence against women in her native country of Indonesia. Since the early 1980’s, Arahmmaiani’s works have generated hostility on the part of Islamic community leaders and political authorities resulting in her short imprisonment in 1983. Her installation, Etalase, brings together disparate symbols of Islam, Western culture, and sexuality. Displayed under glass, the objects seem indistinguishable from a traditional museum vitrine, but stand as quintessential symbols of religion, sex, and capitalism. During the first showing of Etalase in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1994, members of a Muslim fundamentalist group were so offended by the juxtaposition of a condom and the Qur’an that the work was immediately censored and death threats leveled at the artist. Out of fear of her safety, Arahmaiani fled to Australia for the next few years, where she remained in exile. Incidentally, this is only the second time since 1994 that this work has been exhibited. The first was at the Asia Society in New York in 1996.—Amy Brandt, Exhibition Assistant, Global Feminisms

More Information

Support Performance Art Resources

Performance Art Resources is an artist run site. It is not supported by institutions or foundations. You can help us connect performance artists around the world!

Every little bit helps, please donate now!man resting on ground head and face painted white, a knife resting on the ground to the left of the head.