documenta fifteen will take place from June 18 until September 25, 2022 in Kassel.



ruangrupa: “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’s central curatorial approach for documenta fifteen is based on the principles of collectivity, resource building, and equal sharing. They aim to appeal not just to an art audience but to a variety of communities, and to promote local commitment and participation. Their approach is based on an international network of local, community-based organizations from the art and other cultural contexts and can be outlined by the Indonesian term lumbung. lumbung, directly translatable as “rice barn,” is a collective pot or accumulation system used in rural areas of Indonesia, where crops produced by a community are stored as a future shared common resource and distributed according to jointly determind criteria.

Using lumbung as a model, documenta fifteen is a collective resource pot, operating under the logics of the commons. It is an agglomeration of ideas, stories, (wo)manpower, time, and other shareable resources. At the center of lumbung is the imagination and the building of these collective, shared resources into new models of sustainable ideas and cultural practices. This will be fostered by residencies, assemblies, public activities, and the development of tools.

Interdisciplinarity is key in this process. It is where art meets activism, management, and networking to gather support, understand environments, and identify local resources. These elements then create actions and spaces, intertwine social relations and transactions; they slowly grow and organically find a public form. This is a strategy “to live in and with society.” It imagines the relations an art institution has with its community by being an active constituent of it. Strategies are then developed based on proximity and shared desires.

The main principles of the process are:
• Providing space to gather and explore ideas
• Collective decision making
• Non-centralization
• Playing between formalities and informalities
• Practicing assembly and meeting points
• Architectural awareness
• Being spatially active to promote conversation
• A melting pot for and from everyone’s thoughts, energies, and ideas

lumbung members

Britto Arts Trust (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

"Rongbaaz, Britto Arts Trust", Dhaka, 2020, Photo: Mohosin Kabir Himalay

Britto Arts Trust (Britto) is an artist-run non-profit collective officially founded in 2002 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with a global reach as part of the Triangle Network. Britto Arts Trust is based in Dhaka, but works extensively in different locations across the country. Britto attempts to understand Bangladesh’s socio-political upheaval by exploring missing histories, cultures, and communities and collaborating with various partners. It responds by gathering knowledge and resources, sharing the collective’s thoughts and ideas, and creating artworks in connection and collaboration with local communities.

Over the past few years, Britto has concentrated on large-scale, long-term projects focusing on socio-political issues and engaging communities and participants from various spheres. One example is ZERO WASTE-FoodArt, which was established during the coronavirus pandemic. Since March 2020, this initiative has worked with a number of artists and art collectives to create socially responsible projects at various locations in Bangladesh and abroad. Britto seeds and promotes multiple interdisciplinary practitioners, groups, and networks. It provides an international and local forum for the development of professional art practitioners, a place where they can meet, discuss, experiment, and upgrade their abilities on their own terms. In response to the lack of suitable educational institutions in Bangladesh, Britto functions as an alternative learning platform for many artists who have gone on to produce highly experimental work. Starting with its connection to local roots, histories, and communities, Britto then engages with international events, such as the organization of the first Bangladesh Pavilion at the 54th Biennale di Venezia in 2011.

FAFSWAG (Auckland, Aotearoa)


FAFSWAG is a Moana Oceanic arts collective committed to social change through arts and innovation, producing bespoke cultural activation that is cutting edge, culturally responsive, and socially relevant.

Operating across a multitude of interdisciplinary art forms and genres, FAFSWAG’s artists work collaboratively to activate public and digital space, speaking to their contexts as Queer Indigenous arts practitioners.

Fondation Festival sur le Niger (Ségou, Mali)

Fondation Festival sur le Niger: Performance of the famous Malian musicians Oumou Sangaré and Cheick Tidiane Seck, during the Festival sur le Niger, 2011, photo: Harandane DICKO

The Centre Culturel Kôrè, established by the Fondation Festival sur le Niger in 2011, gets its name from Kôrè, the supreme level of knowledge in Bamanan culture.

The Kôrèdugaw is a rite combining humor, wit, and wisdom. Children are prepared to cope with life and society through the values expressed by the Kôrèdugaw, such as respect for others, mutual help, knowing oneself in both happy and difficult times, and the absolute rejection of violence.

“These values are also the base of all artistic, educational, and economic activities we organize at the Centre Culturel Kôrè and IKAM, the education center. By training young artists and cultural entrepreneurs from throughout Africa, providing deep mentoring and support, producing artistic work, and developing distribution circuits, we strengthen the whole spectrum of culture and arts in Mali, and Africa at large. It is most important to us that this happens through a collaborative ethos. Our way of working, Maaya entrepreneurship, is rooted in our traditional humanist Maaya philosophy and brings this philosophy to contemporary society and culture. It has helped us build many artistic and solidarity networks in Mali and beyond, find answers to the crises hitting our country since 2012, and overcome the competitive culture created by the problems of our times.”

Gudskul (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Gudskul: A diagram of Gudskul’s lumbung practice with three vital resource components, 2020

Gudskul is an educational knowledge-sharing platform formed in 2018 by three Jakarta-based collectives: ruangrupa, Serrum, and Grafis Huru Hara.

Gudskul sincerely believes in sharing and working together as two vital elements in developing Indonesian contemporary art and culture. Their intent is to disseminate initiative spirit through artistic and cultural endeavors in a society committed to collectivism, and to promote initiators who make local needs their highest priority, while at the same time contributing to and holding crucial roles internationally. Gudskul is building an ecosystem in which many participants are co-operating, including artists, curators, art writers, managers, researchers, musicians, filmmakers, architects, cooks, designers, fashionistas, and street artists.

The Gudskul members focus on different (artistic) practices and media, such as installation, video, sound, performance, media art, citizen participation, graphic arts, design, and pedagogy, etc. This multiplicity contributes to diversifying the issues and actors involved in every collaborative project that happens within a social, political, cultural, economical, environmental, and pedagogical context. Gudskul is open to anyone who is interested in co-learning, developing collective-based artistic practices, and art-making with a focus on collaboration.

INLAND (various locations, Spain)

INLAND: Organizational structure of the para-institution, 2020

INLAND is a collaborative agency started in 2009 by Fernando Garcia Dory. The project is a platform for diverse actors engaged in agricultural, social, and cultural production.

During its first stage (2010–2013) and taking Spain as an initial case study, INLAND was engaged with artistic production in twenty-two villages across the country, nationwide exhibitions and presentations, and an international conference. This was followed by a period of reflection and evaluation, launching study groups on art and ecology, and a series of publications. Today INLAND functions as a collective focused on land-based collaborations and economies, and communities-of-practice as a substrate for post-contemporary art and cultural forms.
Inland has a radio station, an academy, produces shows, and makes cheese. It is also a consultant for the European Union Commission on the use of art for rural development policies, while promoting a European Shepherds’ Network, a social movement to question those same policies. The two-tiered strategy of this para-institution develops a locally embedded process at its venues, such as its Centre for the Approach of the Rural in the city and recovering an abandoned village.

INLAND is currently coordinating the Confederacy of Villages network and has exhibited and worked with institutions such as the Istanbul Biennial; the Casco Art Institute, Netherlands; the Maebashi Museum, Japan; the Serpentine Gallery, London; the Casa do Povo, São Paulo; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin.

Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt (Havana, Cuba)

"Art to the limit". Workshop with the theoretician Brian Holmes and the artist Claire Pentecost, Havana, 2017, Photo: INSTAR

The Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt (INSTAR) emerged as an institution for civic literacy on May 20, 2015, from a public action called by the Cuban artivist Tania Bruguera where people read and discussed Hannah Arendt’s book The Origins of Totalitarianism for one hundred hours.

Since its inception, INSTAR has been thought of as a democratic and horizontal space, where decisions are made by consensus. “We are interested in claiming social justice and rights sometimes alien to the Cuban context, such as fair wages, a working environment that is maternity friendly, supporting independent projects and artists, respect for freedom of expression, the rescue of the historical memory of art and independent civil society, and building a project with people who think differently but want to make a country for everyone,” INSTAR say about themselves and their practices. INSTAR is a safe space that protects and connects other organizations, activists, and artists—acting like a living organism that breathes, feels, reacts, and has a memory. INSTAR’s work can be organized into three stages linked to its mission, which use different artistic expressions and allow the transformation of a chaotic vision into an unexpected order, a new order, from where a new future can be articulated:

Stage I: Training workshops to strengthen the capacities of artists, intellectuals, academics, citizenship, youth, and activist groups.
Stage II: Financial support for creators, associations, and independent projects through prizes and scholarships. Visibility, while making allowances for the current coronavirus pandemic, through INSTAR’s social networks. Taking a position against decrees 349, 373, and 370, with which the Cuban State restricts freedom of expression and creative independence.
Stage III: Reconstruction of the history of creative production, art, and independent activism through rescuing files and making them available to the public, free of charge.

Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF) (Jatiwangi, Indonesia)

Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF): The Family of JaF at the opening of the Village Video Festival, 2017, photo: Pandu Rahadian

Established in 2005, Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF) is a community that embraces contemporary arts and cultural practices as parts of the local life discourse in a rural area.

A century ago, Jatiwangi began its clay industry, becoming the biggest roof-tile producing region in Southeast Asia. A hundred years later, in 2005, using the same clay, JaF encouraged the people of Jatiwangi to create a collective awareness and identity for their region through arts and cultural activity. JaF tries to cultivate clay with more dignity, to raise collective happiness through many programs involving the participation of the community.

Kota Terakota is the name given to the idea of developing Jatiwangi from its traditional background of roof-tile industry towards a new cultural identity for the future. Kota Terakota is point zero for Jatiwangi as the beginning of a new clay culture, a city based on the people’s desire and their collective agreement. Jatiwangi has the opportunity to transform its region through multiple perspectives, which is why Kota Terakota speaks not only about “terra” as a material, but also as land, territory, or idea.

Project Art Works (Hastings, United Kingdom)

Siddharth Gadiyar, solo exhibition as part of a collaboration between Project Art Works and Phoenix Art Space, Brighton, 2019, Photo: Hugh Fox

Project Art Works is a UK-based collective of artists and makers. They produce and disseminate art underpinned by radical approaches to neurodiversity, rights, and representation. Project Art Works’ program evolves through supported studio practice and radiates out into multiple collaborations, exhibitions, co-commissions, movies, publications, and digital outputs. Personalized and holistic studio environments are recreated wherever a project takes place. The studio is a place of level hierarchy where events and happenings unfold, revealing the lived experience and creative potential of all those involved ( Artists and makers work together in purposeful collaboration through total communication that utilizes language or gesture, sound, signing, and empathy.

The collective interrogates and promotes creative and sustainable models of artist development and care through practice-based research, productions, and partnerships. The work of neurodiverse artists is disseminated via social media, digital platforms and cultural and care collaborations nationally and internationally. Through aspirational planning, free training, and advocacy, families and caregivers have opportunities to utilize their knowledge and skills to better navigate and harness health and social care systems and explore bespoke models of care that improve their lives.

Question of Funding (Jerusalem, Palestine)

Question of Funding: The Question of Funding, 2020

“This is a mind map. We have been trying to figure out how collectives that are formed organically can extend their collectivity to the community, how to scale up horizontally while keeping a skeletal body that takes the task of accumulating knowledge produced and shared through the collectives.

Ideology is in the structures that ideas and bodies work and move through, and we see our structure in the landscape we live in, which is not flat like a coastal landscape, nor steep like a mountain, but with many hills and valleys, tops and bases, which one can move between while simultaneously being on the top of a hill and in the bottom of a valley. In this collective, we begin from the question of funding as a way to engage culturally with politics and economy, rethinking funding and re-proposing it as a value that grows through community engagement and collective movement.”

— Question of Funding on their mind map “The Question of Funding”

Más Arte Más Acción (MAMA) (Nuqui, Choco, Colombia)

MAMA, Fernando Arias: Fly, 2011

Más Arte Más Acción has been a platform for interdisciplinary projects since 2008. It evolved following years of community engagement, mainly on Colombia’s Pacific Coast, that led to the construction of the Chocó Base.

Since 2011 this “space to reflect” has enabled artists, scientists, activists, and writers to consider the construction of other possible worlds. MAMA builds networks with funders, universities, festivals, art institutions, and local communities to sustain the ideas and processes of critical thinking in the framework of territorial struggles.

MAMA on its present situation: “MAMA is currently on a journey to evaluate its processes, narratives, and ways of organizing in the coming years. The journey is uncertain, and this uncertainty encourages us to resist results-oriented productivity. As we look around, we see shared interests, we engage, we relate, we find empathy, we embrace differences, we act through more art, we gather others to join our fight to activate artistic processes and connect. We imagine art through action and action through art. What do we do with uncertainty? How do we confront new realities that demand new positions and other possibilities? There are storm clouds that break. And there is light.”

OFF-Biennale (Budapest, Hungary)

OFF-Biennale Budapest Archive: Gladness Demo, a restaging of Endre Tót’s Gladness demonstrations of the 70s by Kristóf Kovács at Telep Gallery, Budapest, October 8, 2017, as part of GAUDIOPOLIS 2017/OFF-Biennale Budapest, 2017, photo: Zsolt Balázs

The OFF-Biennale started in 2015 as a grassroots statement project that was to testify to the independence, resilience, and capability of the local art scene. Started and sustained by a handful of art professionals, the one-time event has since turned into an independent platform where art engages with pressing issues, and the underlying dialogues and collaborations of artists, curators, researchers, students, and various civil groups and organizations can be nurtured and promoted on a local as well as international level.

OFF has never applied for Hungarian public funding and steered clear of state-run art institutions—a policy that, while it counters the project’s principles of cooperation, sharing, and serving the common good, is still deemed necessary in order to preserve freedom of expression and professional integrity. The third OFF-Biennale will take place in May 2021.

Trampoline House (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Trampoline House: Fashion show in Trampoline House during its ninth birthday in 2019, photo: Lars Vibild, Copenhagen

On June 8, 2019, the Copenhagen refugee community center, Trampoline House, celebrated its ninth birthday with a gala for all its members and supporters. Long-time member Eden Girma suggested putting on a fashion show where all the House members would walk down a catwalk wearing their favorite outfit. Some people dressed in traditional garments from the country they had fled, like Eden in the photo. Others created new outfits or borrowed folk costumes from friends in the House. More than 300 adults and children from all over the world took part in the festivities.

There was a lot to celebrate. For nearly ten years, Trampoline House has been a space where people who have escaped war, poverty, or human rights abuse can find ways to participate in their host country and feel a sense of belonging again. Every week, hundreds of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers, as well as Danish citizens and residents of Denmark visit the House to become part of its unique community, participate in its activities, contribute to its running, and campaign for refugee rights. The House offers legal counseling, language classes, cooking and cleaning internships, job counseling, programs for women and children, workshops, debate events, art exhibitions, and weekly House meetings, where members and staff share news and discuss urgent issues related to the House and refugee conditions. Trampoline House was formed in 2010 by a group of artists, refugee rights advocates, and asylum seekers as an antidote to Denmark’s asylum and immigration policies.

Wajukuu Art Project (Nairobi, Kenya)

Wajukuu Art Project, Photo: Shabu Mwangi

Wajukuu Art Project (Wajukuu) is a community-based organization situated in the Lunga-Lunga neighborhood of the Mukuru slum in Nairobi, Kenya. The project was established in 2004 by a group of artists with a common goal: to make Mukuru a place where children can thrive and to create employment through the production and sale of quality artworks.

Mukuru slum sits on a hillside below the factories that make up the industrial area of Nairobi. A nearby dumpsite draws youth from the slum, who are largely shut out from employment in the factories that pollute their community. Scavenging for items to sell is one of the few economic opportunities available to them. Many eventually turn to crime and selling drugs. Violence and sexual assault are all too common, jeopardizing their well-being and claiming the lives of many young victims. From this landscape, Wajukuu emerged, a testimony to the resilience and capacity of people to transmute suffering into beauty.

“Art is the backbone of Wajukuu. Art for us is not just a practice; it’s a way of life. Through art classes, Wajukuu empowers children and youth to use art to find their true selves, connect with their heritage, cope with challenges they face at home and in their community, speak out against injustices imposed on them, and envisage alternative futures. Our community library, the first in Mukuru, is a safe space for students and adults to study. We address various topics such as conflict resolution, crime prevention, culture practices, gender equality, health, teen pregnancy, and youth decision-making through documentary screenings and mural painting. By doing so, we create a platform for the community to fully participate in the issues affecting them,” Wajukuu Art Project say about their work.

ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (Berlin, Germany)

ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, ©KUNSTrePUBLIK

The artist collective KUNSTrePUBLIK has been working in the public sphere for more than fifteen years. Through tangible projects they have been exploring the potentials and limitations of art for citizens to freely express or to be represented by the action and physical outcome of KUNSTrePUBLIK’s work. KUNSTrePUBLIK’s approach is driven by the site and crosses architectural, artistic, and political means of creating projects. KUNSTrePUBLIK is the organization behind ZK/U – Center for Arts and Urbanistics.

ZK/U is located in a neighborhood in Berlin with various conflicts between established “middle-class” citizens, precarious first and second generation migrants, and newly arriving groups. Therefore ZK/U aims at (re) activating the social and spatial relationship between individuals and groups that are divided by differences of education, income, gender, and cultural background.
ZK/U is an artist and research residency, that has hosted more than 500 artists since its opening in 2012. It is interested in bringing together global discourses and local practices. More specifically, it looks at how art can be a catalyst for transformation in the urban sphere. In this context ZK/U faces various challenges: How can we facilitate collaborations between cultural, public, and private sectors to achieve sustainable, inclusive urban development that allows local culture and voices to participate in the decision-making processes? How can knowledge be transferred between stakeholders with different educational backgrounds, and skills and (professional) languages be best employed, ideally resulting in tangible projects, which can be grasped by practical experience? Through its work, ZK/U tries to demonstrate the feasibility of these participatory, urban, artistic practices.

About ruangrupa

ruangrupa, 2019
Ajeng Nurul Aini, Farid Rakun, Iswanto Hartono, Mirwan Andan, Indra Ameng, Ade Darmawan, Daniella Fitria Praptono, Julia Sarisetiati, Reza Afisina
Photo: Gudskul / Jin Panji

ruangrupa is a Jakarta-based collective established in 2000. It is a non-profit organization that strives to support the idea of art within an urban and cultural context by involving artists and other disciplines, such as the social sciences, politics, technology, media, etc., to offer critical observations and views on Indonesian contemporary urban issues.

The Indonesian word “ruangrupa” loosely translates as “a space for art” or “a space form.” ruangrupa also produce collaborative works in the form of art projects such as exhibitions, festivals, art labs, workshops, research projects, as well as books, magazines, and online-journal publications. ruangrupa’s work is an all-encompassing social, spatial, and personal practice, strongly linked to Indonesian culture in which friendship, solidarity, and community are central values.

ruangrupa runs an art space in South Jakarta. The collective has participated in many cooperative projects and exhibitions, including the Gwangju Biennale (2002 and 2018), the Istanbul Biennial (2005), the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Brisbane, 2012), the Singapore Biennale (2011), the São Paulo Biennial (2014), the Aichi Triennale (Nagoya, 2016), and Cosmopolis at the Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2017). In 2016, ruangrupa curated transACTION: Sonsbeek 2016 in Arnhem, the Netherlands. In 2018, the collective (together with two other Jakarta-based collectives, Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara) founded GUDSKUL, an educational and networking project for creatives based on cooperative work. At documenta 14, ruangrupa participated with its internet radio station as a partner of the decentralized radio project Every Time a Ear di Soun, which brought together eight radio stations from around the world.

documenta commission

The international documenta Advisory Board: Frances Morris, Amar Kanwar, Philippe Pirotte, Elvira
Dyangani Ose, Ute Meta Bauer, Jochen Volz, Charles Esche, Gabi Ngcobo
Photo: Nicolas Wefers, 2019

For the first time, the remit of documenta’s Finding Commission has been extended by the Supervisory Board to include the function of a documenta Advisory Board. As the documenta commission, the Advisory Board not only appoints the respective Artistic Direction (as was the case with ruangrupa in February 2019), but also accompanies the continuing project process. The Advisory Board thus provides expert advice to the Supervisory and Management Boards at documenta gGmbH, acts as an ambassador of the documenta exhibition towards the public, can act as a mediator between the Artistic Direction and the Management or Supervisory Board in the event of any differences and finally is responsible for making proposals for the subsequent Finding Commission.

The documenta commission is composed of
• Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
• Charles Esche, Director of the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, Netherlands
• Amar Kanwar, artist, filmmaker, New Delhi, India
• Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern London, United Kingdom
• Gabi Ngcobo, Curator 10th Berlin Biennale 2018, Germany
• Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director of The Showroom London, United Kingdom
• Philippe Pirotte, professor at Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule Frankfurt/M., Germany
• Jochen Volz, Director of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil


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Note on artist's submissions

We thank all artists for their interest in documenta. However, we would like to point out that there is no application procedure for documenta. We hope you will understand that unsolicited applications, portfolios, publications, project descriptions and works submitted by post can therefore not be returned.


On this page you find current press releases on documenta fifteen as well as press material for download. If you have any further questions or interview requests, or require additional press material, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Karoline Köber
Acting Head of Communication and Marketing
+49 561 70727-4023

Press release (English) June 18, 2020
Press release (German) June 18, 2020
Press release (Bahasa Indonesia) June 18, 2020
Press images for download
Intro texts (Arabic) June 18, 2020
Intro texts (French) June 18, 2020
Intro texts (Hungarian) June 18, 2020
Intro texts (Spanish) June 18, 2020