Indonesia

Sakti: Art as The Magic Commodity

It was from the eyes of the colonizer that traditional culture appears to be something unique, exotic, and different. The system of collecting and exhibiting ethnographic objects creates the display of certain culture as “the other.” The colonialist perspective on culture seems to be continued by the “local colonizer” as we can see in the selection of works of art and artists who used materials and medium that appear to be mystical and promoting some kind of “Eastern Wisdom,” such as puppets and stupas.

“Sakti,” which literally means magic or power, is the curatorial theme for the Indonesian Pavilion. It represents the way Indonesian in which government sees the economy potential of art. This pavilion is supervised by the Vice Minister in Tourism and Creative Economy and supported by numbers of wealthy collectors in Indonesia. In the creative economy contemporary art is considered to be a commodity which also is of value to the tourism industry. Symbolically, “sakti” shows the sacred force of the government and the collectors in this pavilion. They are the invisible hand which dictates the representation of Indonesia’s art and culture for the sake of touristic promotion. In the shadow of tourism and new economy strategy, what kind of national image does this pavilion construct from the wide variety of artistic voices, and can that image be separated from a (neo-)colonialist perspective?

Syafiatudina & Brigitta Isabella

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Pavilion

Organizer/Commissioner:
Bumi Purnati & Milan-based Change Performing Arts
Artists:
Albert Yonathan; Eko Nugroho; Entang Wiharso; Rahayu Supanggah; Sri Astari; Titarubi
Curators:
Carla Bianpoen; Rifky Effendy

Curator

Name:
Rifky Effendy
Gender:
Male
Born:
Indonesia, 1968
Lives and works in:
Indonesia
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Curator

Name:
Carla Bianpoen
Gender:
Female
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Rahayu Supanggah
Gender:
Male
Born:
Indonesia, 1949
Lives and works in:
Indonesia
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Titarubi
Gender:
Female
Born:
Indonesia, 1968
Lives and works in:
Indonesia
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Sri Astari
Gender:
Female
Born:
Indonesia, 1953
Lives and works in:
Indonesia
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Entang Wiharso
Gender:
Male
Born:
Indonesia, 1967
Lives and works in:
Indonesia
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Eko Nugroho
Gender:
Male
Born:
Indonesia, 1977
Lives and works in:
Indonesia
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Albert Yonathan
Gender:
Male
Born:
1983
Lives and works in:
Japan
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Politics & Economics

State System:
Unitary presidential constitutional republic
Ruling Political Party:
Centre-right liberal Democratic Party
Population (World Bank, 2011):
1,241,491,960
GDP per capita (World Bank, 2011):
$3,495
Gini Index (Inequality level) (World Bank, 2010):
35.6
Unemployment (World Bank, 2011):
6.6% of the labor force
World Bank credit:
$5,960,000,000
Net OECD ODA Aid Received (2011):
$414,590,000
Military Expenditure (SIPRI, 2011):
$6,866,000,000

Alliances


G20
World Bank debt
Non-Aligned Movement
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
WTO

Conflicts

Country independent since:
1945 (from The Netherlands)
Last Major Border Revision:
2002 (independence of East Timor)
Colonial History:
Former Dutch colony
International Court of Justice cases:
1
Global Militarization Index (BICC, 2011):
100
Nuclear Force?
No
Ongoing Conflicts and Disputes:
Regular outbreaks of religious and ethnic violence and conflicts over regional autonomy. Indonesia has 3 provinces with a special autonomy status: Nanggroe Acceh Darussalam, Papua, and West Papua.
Participation in Multinational Missons:
UN peacekeeping missions in Congo, Darfur, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, and Sudan.