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Lumbung (working title)

Short concept by ruangrupa for documenta 15

Lumbung, directly translatable as “rice barn”, is a collective pot or accumulation system, where crops produced by a community is stored as a future shared common resource.

If documenta was founded on the noble intention to heal European post-war wounds, shouldn’t we enlarge this intention to heal areas suffering from other wounds rooted in colonialism, capitalism, remoteness and patriarchism—just to name a few possible causes?

Learning from the accumulation of ruangrupa’s collective experiences in directly practicing institutional building as an artistic form, we proposed a collaboration to documenta in imagining, tinkering, experimenting and executing models of koperasi (closely but not exactly translatable to cooperative), a model of economy based on democratic principles of rapat (assembly), mufakat (agreement), gotong royong (commons), hak mengadakan protes bersama (right to stage collective protest) and hak menyingkirkan diri dari kekuasaan absolut (right to abolish absolute power). Lumbung as a model of resource governance will serve as the center point of this practice.

From Kassel, we are considering documenta as a pool of resources, located in the city but functioning in a global scale through a contemporary art ecosystem. We deem documenta to be the perfect partner for ruangrupa to implement a different model, and therefore understanding, of sustainability in supporting socially impactful contemporary art practice. To Kassel, we are envisioning an edition of documenta that is based on the city and the systems existing within and celebrate it with several strategies that focus on current interests like alternative education, regenerative economy models and the importance of art in social practice. These strategies include, but are not limited to, a sizeable art exhibition in regular documenta venues, series of 1:1 real practice in Kassel’s public services (such as schools, universities, banks, hospitals, TBD) and public programs. This to-and-fro scheme by putting Kassel in the middle of the process is conversational, intended to give birth to unforeseen hybrid art praxis and forms.

In the process, we will begin by working closely and collectively with curators, technologists and economists, as well as other initiatives and collectives in different corners of the world. These collaborators are then expected to employ their respective strategies in reality by grafting their existing practices, first in each of their particular contexts, to then be staged in Kassel in 2022.


From press information by documenta, 22 February 2019


documenta 15

18 June - 25 September 2022
Kassel, Germany

Artistic Direction: ruangrupa

Working title: Lumbung

Like for all editions since 1997, Universes in Universe publishes a Special about documenta 15.

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