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ruangrupa, a collective of artists and creatives from Jakarta, Indonesia, with a ten-member core, is in charge of the Artistic Direction of documenta 15. It was nominated unanimously by the International Finding Committee.
"We want to create a globally oriented, cooperative, interdisciplinary art and culture platform that will remain effective beyond the 100 days of documenta fifteen. Our curatorial approach aims at a different kind of collaborative model of resource use—economically, but also in terms of ideas, knowledge, programs, and innovation."
ruangrupa: Reza Afisina, Indra Ameng, Farid Rakun, Daniella Fitria Praptono, Iswanto Hartono, Ajeng Nurul Aini, Ade Darmawan, Julia Sarisetiati, Mirwan Andan
Photo: Gudskul / Jin Panji, 2019
lumbung is the Indonesian word for a collectively governed rice-barn, where the gathered harvest is stored for the common good of the community. ruangrupa has built the foundation of documenta fifteen on its core values and ideas.
ruangrupa has underscored this approach:
"Under the current conditions, the concept of lumbung, and its values of solidarity and collectivity, has never been more vital and relevant. In moments when so many are experiencing the inequality and injustice of the current systems, lumbung can act as an effort (alongside so many others) to show that things can be done differently. We are therefore not suspending lumbung, but accelerating it."
ruangrupa: lumbung drawing, image: Iswanto Hartono, 2020
ruangrupa chose to work with the following initiatives (as of February 2021), based on their inspirational models, their deep artistic practices rooted in local social structures, and their organizational and economic experimentations that go hand-in-hand with lumbung values:
• Britto Arts Trust (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
• FAFSWAG (Auckland, Aotearoa)
• Fondation Festival Sur Le Niger (Ségou, Mali)
• Gudskul (Jakarta, Indonesia)
• INLAND (various locations, Spain)
• Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt (Havana, Cuba)
• Jatiwangi art Factory (Jatiwangi, Indonesia)
• Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (Ramallah, Palestine)
• Más Arte Más Acción (MAMA) (Nuqui, Choco, Colombia)
• OFFBiennale (Budapest, Hungary)
• Project Art Works (Hastings, United Kingdom)
• Trampoline House (Copenhagen, Denmark)
• Wajukuu Art Project (Nairobi, Kenya)
• ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (Berlin, Germany)
Introducing the Artistic Team, Gertrude Flentge, Frederikke Hansen, Lara Khaldi, Ayşe Güleç, Andrea Linnenkohl, ruangrupa points out that their involvement "makes it possible for us to engage, imagine, work hard, hangout, and enjoy the journey of documenta fifteen."
On the documenta fifteen website, they share stories of their respective practices and how they connect to the wider project.
documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH: ruruHaus, photo: Nicolas Wefers
The first venue of documenta fifteen, its "living room for Kassel (and beyond)," is the former department store “Sportarena”, at the Friedrichsplatz close to Fridericianum. Within its capacity as an ecosystem for collective works, ruruHaus will invite communities, artists, collectives, students, etc., to participate in, activate, and capture the space together. To kick-off, the store windows of the ruruHaus will be activated by a responsive public-space project, followed by an upcoming program.
The window of the ruruHaus regularly provides insights into the preparations for documenta fifteen and the development of the international lumbung network: In a varied line-up of video material and other formats, the lumbung members will be presented along with interesting insights into their practices.
On 15 December 2020, documenta fifteen presented its visual identity to the public. It was developed out of the design concept of the Jakarta student collective Studio 4oo2, and refers to the lumbung principle on which ruangrupa based its documenta.
Studio 4oo2, consisting of four students from the Universitas Negeri Jakarta, commented on its visual design: "The lumbung concept is visualized in our design by the shape of the hand, a feeling part of our bodies, which is used in human activities such as holding, giving or hugging. The hand, directly or indirectly, plays an essential role in interactive processes between people. As a symbol it is directly linked to the concept of lumbung, a collective repository for the harvest produced by a community. These activities – harvesting, togetherness, sustainable support – all require the involvement of hands, just as the purpose of lumbung refers to the hand that connects people."
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The name, pronounced "four-oh-oh-two", is derived from the amount of money the students had to pay out in parking tickets (4,000 Rupiahs for two motorcycles) at the fast-food restaurant the team used as a workplace when developing their application, as this restaurant was the only place they could access 24 hours a day. The team consists of Angga Reksha Ramadhan, Larasati Fildzah Kinanti, Louisiana Wattimena and Rosyid Mahfuzh.