I’m not here to shade anyone’s attempts at artistic expression, but Indonesian performance artist Melati Suryodarmo’s “EXERGIE – Butter dance,” has me scratching my head. The video description almost does it justice:

Suryodarmo enters the space, dressed in a black tight dress and red high heels. She steps on the pieces of butter. She starts to dance to the sound of indonesian shamanistic drums. She dances and falls, hitting the floor hard, rising, and continuously being on the verge of standing, slipping and falling in the butter.

And that’s really what it is. Watch her put her all into sliding around on twenty sticks of butter for about six minutes, with a look on her face that shows she means business.

If you think hard enough, especially if you have a degree in digression and conjecture (a.k.a. a BA or MA in liberal arts), it’s not hard to conjure up a deeper meaning for what’s going on here. She’s struggling for control and commited to facing her circumstance as a woman head on or something? I’m not sure why butter and not, say, lard, or even a lighter but still slippery option like extra virgin olive oil, though. Any thoughts?

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