Murni fuses the political and the personal in her depictions of the male phallus. Murni’s female gaze both reflects and upends society’s portrayal, dissemination and commodification of female nude body parts by presenting the male phallus instead. This painting provides several feminist readings, of female desire, female agency and the female struggle against a repressive patriarchal society.
The title of this painting, Satu Dini Hari (1AM), may reference Murni’s habit of waking up in the middle of the night to sketch her vivid dreams. As Murni’s partner Edmondo Zanolini recalls, he would often wake up early in the morning to find Murni out of bed and asleep in front of her paintings. Murni often surrendered to the stream of images that emerged from her subconscious, and some of her boldest expressions of pain, pleasures and fantasy are narratives captured from her dreams and subconscious.