Artist Performance: Mella Jaarsma, The Pecking Order, 1 Dec 2018

17 Nov 2018

In celebration of the opening of Disparate Bodies, internationally acclaimed Dutch-Indonesian artist Mella Jaarsma will be presenting The Pecking Order, an hour and a half long performance.

In The Pecking Order, Jaarsma inverts and plays with the titular phrase, by producing costumes that refer to the animal most literally associated with a pecking order: the chicken. The costumes, created from chicken leather and stuffed chickens, functions as both a dress and a table to explore social organisation and hierarchies, blurring the binary division between an oppressor and the oppressed.


Born and raised in Emmerloord, Netherlands (1960), Mella Jaarsma studied visual art at the Minerva Academy in Groningen from 1978 to 1984. Shortly after, she travelled to Indonesia to study at the Art Institute of Jakarta and at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts.  Jaarsma has lived and worked in Jogjakarta, Indonesia ever since. In 1988, she co-founded Cemeti Art House with Nindityo Adipurnomo, the first space for contemporary art in Indonesia, which to this day remains an important platform for young artists and professionals in the country and region. She has received several awards: The John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award(2006); The Academic Art Award #2, Jogja Gallery / Indonesia Institute of the Arts(2008); The Jogjakarta Biennale Art Award(2010); and the ‘Adikarya Senirupa’ Visual Art Award, Ministry of Creative Industry and Tourism, Indonesia. Recent exhibitions include: SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now, Mori Art Museum, National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan (2017); the 20th Sydney Biennale, Australia (2016); The Roving Eye: Conceptual Art from Southeast Asia, ARTER Space for Art, Istanbul, Turkey (2014); Medium at Large, Singapore Art Museum (2014); GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art Fashion Identity, the Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK(2010). Jaarsma has participated in the Yokohama Triennale (2005), Gwangju Biennale (2002), and Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (1999).