Wed 10 Jan–Tue 27 Feb 2024

Tintin Wulia: Disclosures

Baik Art, Jakarta, Indonesia, Cushcush Gallery, Denpasar, Indonesia and Museum MACAN, Jakarta, Indonesia


Baik Art JakartaTintin Wulia

Absence in Substantia: Density and Absence in Substantia: Frequency (Wulia 2023). Tufted paper nylon prints and polyester fabric. Photo by Geovanna Bravomalo.

Tintin Wulia: Disclosures at Baik Art, Jakarta, Indonesia

Disclosure of state secrecy is transactional, says political sociologist William Walters. Public inquiries for declassification do not only result in disclosure, but simultaneously generate further closures (Walters 2021). This is what happens just before an archive—which I came to call the Protocols of Killings archive—was declassified in 2018. The 35,642-page archive contains the once-classified cables that passed through the US Embassy in Jakarta spanning the years 1964-1968: a wide-ranging record of communications during the critical period surrounding the 1965-66 Indonesian mass killings. Officials evaluated the archive in 2017 in order to declassify it, and withdrew certain documents—almost 800 of them—that would “harm national security, the privacy of individuals, the proprietary interests of business, the functioning of the government, and other important recognized interests” (Reasons Access May Be Denied Under the FOIA. n.d.).

Disclosures walk hand in hand with closures, also as we live our everyday life. Disclosure can serve as a boundary, a border; both secrets and borders play crucial roles in shaping identities—personal and national. We close and disclose parts of our identities as we interact socially, as an identity is always relational, never whole.

Both closures and borders are a source of power—nation-states exercise power through border control and state secrets, individuals play with power through hiding and revealing similar boundaries. Through the works in this solo exhibition, I probe secrets across spaces and domains—from the intimate to the public, from personal secrets to state secrets—and how they intertwine.

One of the works in this exhibition, Absence in Substantia (Wulia 2023a, 2023b), extends on Walters’s dis/closure logic. After all, closures generated in dis/closure transactions can in turn reveal patterns of secrecy indicating the state’s underlying behaviour, such as complicity.


Reasons Access May Be Denied Under the FOIA. (n.d.). [An official website of the United States government]. United States Secret Service. https://www.secretservice.gov/foia/exemptions

Walters, W. (2021). State secrecy and security: Refiguring the covert imaginary. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Wulia, T. (2023a). Absence in Substantia: Density [Tufted paper nylon and polyester fibre]. In Tintin Wulia: Secrets, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

Wulia, T. (2023b). Absence in Substantia: Frequency [Tufted paper nylon and polyester fibre]. In Tintin Wulia: Disclosures, BAIK ART Jakarta, Indonesia.

Related events

  • 14 December 2024 at 10:00 WIB (TBC), Baik Art Jakarta: soft opening of A Thousand and One Martian Nights (Wulia 2017. Single-channel video projection, surveillance camera, telematic structure, screening room, 38’1” (loop), telematically twinned with its pair at Tintin Wulia: Secrets, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 21 December 2023 at 19:00-21:00 WITA (TBC), Cushcush Gallery, Denpasar: Secrets and Disclosures with Tintin Wulia.
  • 13 January 2024 at 18:00 WIB (TBC), Museum MACAN, Jakarta: Almost Indestructible (Wulia 2023, lecture-performance).


Baik Art Jakarta

Biography coming soon


Tintin Wulia

Tintin Wulia is an artist and Senior Researcher at the HDK-Valand – Academy of Art and Design, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, UK. She explores the intricate power dynamics of societal and geopolitical borders as interfaces, through a multi-disciplinary approach that includes text, video, sound, painting, drawing, dance, installation, performance, and public intervention, tackling these subjects both pragmatically and conceptually. Since 2000 she has contributed to 200 international exhibitions and publications, including Istanbul Biennale (2005), Moscow Biennale (2011), Sharjah Biennale (2013), and most recently the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennale, as well as a solo pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Her text publication includes a chapter contribution to the award-winning edited volume Migrating Minds: Theories and Practices of Cultural Cosmopolitanism (New York: Routledge, 2022). Her works are part of prominent public collections worldwide, including the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum and He Xiangning Art Museum. Currently she is Principal Investigator of the Swedish Research Council-funded Protocols of Killings: 1965, Distance, and the Ethics of Future Warfare (2021-24) and the European Research Council-funded Things for Politics’ Sake: Aesthetic Objects and Social Change/THINGSTIGATE (2023-28).


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